The Serpentine Gallery along with the Royal Parks have agreed to a contract for a new venue in Kensington Gardens. This will work along side the already existing Serpentine building. It is rumored that Zaha Hadid, winner of this year’s Riba Stirling prize is to renovate the existing ‘Magazine’ building to create a new and exciting venue for contemporary art.The grade two listed building which is currently used as office and storage space will also feature a light installation by Hadid.
The project, to be known as the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, has been made possible by The Dr
Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation which has given the largest single gift the Serpentine
Gallery has received in its 40 year history.
The Royal Parks, as part of an initiative to make better use of its buildings, has awarded a contract
to the Serpentine Gallery to establish a new gallery in The Magazine building in Kensington
Gardens. The Grade II listed building is situated on West Carriage Drive, on the north side of the
Mark Camley, Chief Executive, The Royal Parks said: “We are delighted to bring this unique
listed building into public use for the first time, providing an exciting new cultural destination for
park visitors. The building will complement existing park features and facilities and bring real
benefit to Kensington Gardens. Income generated from the licence will be invested back into the
Royal Parks for everyone to enjoy. Given the challenging times that lie ahead – this is a really
positive piece of news and a good example of an initiative that will increase our offer to park
visitors and raise funds at the same time.”
Julia Peyton-Jones, Director and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Co-Director, Serpentine Gallery said: “This
is an opportunity of a lifetime for the Serpentine Gallery. We have been interested in the potential
of the building for some time and how it could help us expand the range of what we do. In these
challenging times, we feared the opportunity would be lost. We are very grateful to our long-term
friends for their very generous assistance, which has made it possible for us to create this exciting,
new platform for the UK and beyond.”
The building will be fully renovated by Pritzker Prize winning architect Zaha Hadid who will
create a new destination for contemporary culture. Plans include an adjoining pavilion to be used
as a social space and restaurant, creating a permanent architectural landmark in the heart of
The Serpentine Sackler Gallery will become an exciting new cultural destination for London,
discovering the best new international talents from the worlds of art and beyond. The Serpentine
Sackler Gallery, like the Serpentine Gallery, will be free of charge and accessible to all, with public
engagement and cultural learning at its heart. It is due to open in time for the London 2012
Olympic and Paralympic Games. The Serpentine Sackler Gallery will offer over 880 square meters
of galleries and social space, approximately equal to the Serpentine Gallery’s footprint.
Commissioning new work will be at the heart of the Serpentine Sackler Gallery’s programmes.
These will include an annual large-scale light installation inside the building and outdoor
playscape for children so families and adults of all ages can explore art through creative play.
The Serpentine Sackler Gallery’s visitor facilities will include a restaurant and café, and a shop
offering the best and most affordable examples of contemporary design, thus providing the
Serpentine Gallery with additional revenue generating facilities.
In addition to the The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation, the Serpentine Gallery
received a donation from ICAP plc in 2009 towards the initial research and development of the
Serpentine Sackler Gallery.
The new Gallery is subject to planning permission and listed building consent. A planning
application is due for submission in 2011.
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