Sackler Gallery Opens Hadid Annex

London -- The Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, will open to the public on Saturday, 28 September 2013.

Art collectors of ArtKabinett social media network will be queuing up this weekend to get a first-glimpse of the striking structure.

The launch of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery marks a new era for the internationally acclaimed arts organization, which has championed new ideas in contemporary arts since it opened in 1970.

The Serpentine has presented pioneering exhibitions of 1,600 artists over 43 years, from the work of emerging practitioners to the most internationally recognized artists and architects of our time, such as Louise Bourgeois, Frank Gehry, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Gerhard Richter, Yoko Ono, Andy Warhol and Ai Weiwei.

The new Sackler Gallery injects life to The Magazine, a former 1805 gunpowder store, located seven minutes’ walk from the Serpentine Gallery on the north side of the Serpentine Bridge.

With 900 square meters of new gallery, restaurant and social space, the Serpentine’s second space in Kensington Gardens is a new cultural destination in the heart of London.

In 2010 the Serpentine Gallery won the tender from The Royal Parks to bring the Grade II* listed building into public use for the first time in its 208-year history.

A light and transparent extension complements rather than competes with the neo-classical architecture of the original building. It is Zaha Hadid Architects’ first permanent structure in central London and continues a relationship which began with the inaugural Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Commission in 2000.

The landscape around the new building will be designed and planted by the world- renowned landscape designer Arabella Lennox-Boyd.

The opening exhibition in the Serpentine Sackler Gallery is the first UK exhibition by the young Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas, who is gaining international renown for his dramatic, large-scale sculptural works.

At the same time, in the Serpentine Gallery, there is a major retrospective of the work by Italian sculptor Marisa Merz, who received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2013 Venice Biennale.

Old and New

The Serpentine Sackler Gallery consists of two distinct parts, namely the conversion of a classical 19th century brick structure, The Magazine, and a 21st century tensile structure.

The Magazine was designed as a Gunpowder Store in 1805. It comprises two raw-brick barrel-vaulted spaces (where the gunpowder was stored) and a lower square-shaped surrounding structure with a frontal colonnade. The building continued to be in military use until 1963. Since then The Royal Parks used the building for storage.

The extension has been designed to complement the calm and solid classical building with a light, transparent, dynamic and distinctly contemporary space of the 21st century.

The tailored, glass-fibre woven textile membrane is an integral part of the building’s load-bearing structure. It stretches between and connects a perimeter ring beam and a set of five interior columns that articulate the roof’s high points.

Zaha Hadid DBE founder of Zaha Hadid Architects, was awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize (considered to be the Nobel Prize of architecture) in 2004 and is internationally known for both her theoretical and academic work.

Hadid’s interest lies in the rigorous interface between architecture, landscape and geology as her practice integrates natural topography and human-made systems, leading to experimentation with cutting-edge technologies.