The Magazine Restaurant
Zaha Hadid Architects
Londen, Kensington Gardens, 29 Exhibition Rd
2009 – 2013
The Serpentine Sackler Gallery
The Magazine restaurant is an extension for the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. This is an exhibition space for contemporary and modern art. It is located in the middle of London’s Kensington Gardens. There is a permanent art exhibition in an old tea pavilion, the Serpentine Gallery. Every year, since 2000, architects are invited to design a temporary pavilion around the gallery. A second permanent pavilion was opened in 2013, in a former powder magazine from 1805, the Serpentine Sackler Gallery. It was designed by Zaha Hadid and admission is free. A visit to this building could not be missed during a visit to London!
An additional reason to visit the Serpentine Sackler Gallery and accompanying Magazine was an exhibition about Zaha Hadid. Zaha Hadid: Early Paintings and Drawings shows that Hadid used paintings to visualize her ideas about architecture. Many of her paintings anticipated the digital future. The exhibition only shows paintings and sketchbooks from the years before the actual building of her first building: the Vitra fire station.
Next to the exhibition space is the restaurant The Magazine. It bears the name ‘restaurant’, but we just went for a coffee and chocolate milk, so that is also possible. It is only closed on Mondays and well worth a visit. The Serpentine Sackler Gallery is the second art building of Zaha Hadid Architects where old and new were united. The first is the MAXXI in Rome.
The extension is designed to provide a counterweight to the calm and stately, classical building with a transparent and dynamic space. The new space appears to be a temporary structure, but it is a fully functional building. The membrane is part of the supporting structure. It extends through a ring bar and is highlighted by five special columns.
The glass seems to float around the roof. The former outer wall of the powder magazine now becomes an inner wall. The light comes in from all sides and through the five columns that also function as a light shaft. The only fixed elements in the room are the kitchen island and a long bar on the brick wall.
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