The Serpentine gallery, with Frank Gehry's 2008 pavilion in the background. Photo / LmvdA
The Serpentine Gallery has appointed Zaha Hadid to remodel a Grade II-listed building in Kensington Gardens into a new cultural venue. The Magazine building, a former munitions depot on West Carriage Drive, will become the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in time for the 2012 Games. The name reflects what gallery director, Julia Peyton-Jones, described as the Serpentine's largest ever donation, from The Dr Mortimer and Theresa Sackler Foundation. According to the Standard, the news will irk Damian Hirst, who fancied turning the building into an exhibition space for his collection of other artists' work.
Hadid, architect of the Aquatic Centre in the Olympic Park, has a relationship with the gallery going back at least a decade: her first UK project was the inaugural Serpentine Pavilion back in 2000. Her practice has been briefed to not only convert the building into a gallery, restaurant, and cafe, but to also design a new, adjoining pavilion, which will be used as a social space and become a "permanent architectural landmark" for London. ('cause we haven't got enough landmarks already).
It was recently leaked that next year's Serpentine pavilion will be designed by Peter Zumthor.