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Zaha Hadid Architects

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Serpentine Pavilion

  • London, UK
  • 2000 – 2000
  • Serpentine Gallery
  • 600m2

In 2000, the Serpentine Gallery in London’s Hyde Park commissioned a specially designed pavilion for its thirtieth anniversary gala. The brief was to devise an external enclosure for 400 seated guests on the lawn outside the gallery and, responding to the temporary nature of the installation, the studio started with the idea of a tent – this was to become the first in the Serpentine’s popular series of summer pavilions.

The triangulated canopy subverted the conventional idea of a tensile fabric construction; its sequence of angular, flat planes gave the illusion of solidity. The fabric panels were supported by a steel frame, which extended to the ground and reached high into the air to define a variety of internal spaces. Lighting was discreetly integrated between the fabric cladding to illuminate and expose its structural ribs.

 Inside, the floor was dotted with tables created specifically for the project. Their colour cast changed from white to black, subtly reinforcing the idea of a wave of motion, rippling through the tent. Although the tent was only intended to be there for five days, it was extended by demand until September of that year, where it served as an outside café for the gallery.


Zaha Hadid Architects


Zaha Hadid with Jim Heverin

Project Manager

Eric Gabriel

Cost / QS

Howard Associates


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