Oscar Niemeyer, Serpentine Pavilion, 2003

Previous Pavilions – A record of Serpentine Gallery Pavilions from 2000

Peter Zumthor and Piet Oudolf Serpentine Pavilion Gallery 2011

A Listing of all the Pavilions from 2000, starting with Zaha Hadid.

Photo Credit: John Offenbach.

2011 Peter Zumthor: In Collaboration with Dutch gardener, Piet Oudolf, the concept for the 11th Serpentine Gallery Pavilion was hortus conclusus, a contemplative room.  Through a double layered body like structure, we were transported from the noises and smells of the capital to a quiet, spiritual like garden.


Jean Novel Serpentine Pavilion Gallery 2010

Photo Credit: Philippe Ruault

2010 Jean Novel: Vivid red and robust this years pavilion was all about being in contrast to previous lightweight structures. Its bold geometric forms included a 12m freestanding wall, set at a sharp razor like angle. Large retractable awnings and bright red exteriors, interiors, fitting and even table tennis. This rouge womb like ambience sat with aplomb within the green of park.


Sanaa Serpentine Pavilion 2009

Photo Credit: Nick Guttridge

2009 Sanna – Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa: A delicate mercury like canopy that hovered between the trees was the 2009 installation by architects Kazuyo Sejima and Rue Nishizawa of Japanese firm SANAA.  Sitting on slim graceful columns it connects large meandering spaces, with no walls or halls, just openness. The highly polished aluminium roof catches the changing sky above and the gatherings below.


Serpentine Gallery 2008 Frank Ghery

Photo Credit: Nick Rochowski

2008 Frank Ghery: Designed with his son, Samuel Ghery, the design was inspired by beach hut interiors and a military catapult created by Leonardo Da Vinci. A multidimensional space made up of timber planks and fractured moving glass overhangs and a layout that is part street, part amphitheatre. An adaptable space easily moving between daytime retreat and an evening performance area.



Olafur Eliasson and Kjetil Thorsen, Serpentine Pavilion 2007

 Text: Serpentine Gallery. Photo credit: Luke Hayes

2007 Olafur Eliason and Kjetil Thorsen: The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2007 is designed by the internationally acclaimed artist Olafur Eliasson and the award-winning Norwegian architect Kjetil Thorsen, of the architectural practice Snøhetta. This timberclad structure resembles a spinning top and brings a dramatic vertical dimension to the traditional single-level pavilion. A wide spiralling ramp makes two complete turns, allowing visitors to ascend from the Gallery lawn to the highest point for views across Kensington Gardens as well as a bird’s eye view of the chamber below.

Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, Arup, Serpentine Pavilion , 2006.

Text: Serpentine Gallery. Photo credit: John Offenbach

2006 Rem Koolhaas and Cecil Balmond, Arup: The Serpentine Pavilion 2006 was co-designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Rem Koolhaas and innovative structural designer Cecil Balmond. The centrepiece of the design was a spectacular ovoid-shaped inflatable canopy that floated above the Gallery’s lawn. Made from translucent material, the canopy was raised into the air or lowered to cover the amphitheatre below according to the weather. A frieze designed by Thomas Demand marked the first collaboration between an artist and the designers of the Pavilion.



Alvaro Siza andoEduardo Souto de Mouro

Text: Serpentine Gallery. Photo credit: Sylvain Deleu

2005 Alvaro Siza and Eduardo Souto de Moura: In designing the Pavilion, Siza sought to ‘guarantee that the new building – while presenting a totally different architecture – established a “dialogue” with the Neo-classical house’. The result was a structure that mirrored the domestic scale of the Serpentine and articulated the landscape between the two buildings. The Pavilion was based on a simple rectangular grid, which was distorted to create a dynamic curvaceous form. It comprised interlocking timber beams, a material that accentuated the relationship between the Pavilion and surrounding Park.



MRVD Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

2004 MRVD: 2004 was the year the annual invite proved too ambitious and remained an unrealised project. Masterminded  by Dutch ‘star-architects’, MRVD, who have also delivered the ingenious ‘Balancing Barn’, they sought to move away from the usual structure on a lawn. They proposed that a grass covered mountain engulf the entire Serpentine Gallery, with a promenade leading up to it, pulling the visitors in and around. In the end though, the final result proved too costly and difficult for construction.



Oscar Niemeyer, Serpentine Pavilion, 2003

 Photo Credit: Sylvian Deleu

2003 Oscar Niemeyer: Designed by pritzker prize winner, Oscar Niemeyer, it was a gentle steel, aluminium, concrete and glass modernist structure, floating above the lawn.  A ‘ruby red’ ramp  echoes that of the one he built for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Niteroi, Brazil, and worked well against the green of the lawn. Inside, the space afforded views of Kensington park in a calm and curved lookout space, whilst also housing specially conceived drawings by Niemeyer.


Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond, Serpentine Pavilion, 2002

Text: Serpentine Pavilion. Photo Credit: Sylvain Deleu

2002 Toyo Ito and Cecil Balmond: The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2002 appeared to be an extremely complex random pattern that proved, upon careful examination, to derive from an algorithm of a cube that expanded as it rotated. The numerous triangles and trapezoids formed by this system of intersecting lines were clad to be either transparent or translucent, giving a sense of infinitely repeated motion


Daniel Libenskind, Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, 2001

Text: Serpentine Pavilion. Photo Credit: Sylvain Deleu

2001 Daniel Libeskind: With references to an origami figure, Eighteen Turns was a different kind of temporary structure. Highlighting the beauty of the Gardens and their connection to the Gallery, Eighteen Turns was created from sheer metallic planes assembled in a dynamic sequence. Clad in aluminium panels creating brilliant reflections of light, the structure revealed an entirely new perspective of the greenery of the park and the brick building of the Gallery. Eighteen Turns was a special place of discovery, intimacy and gathering.


Serpentine Gallery Zaha Hadid  2000

Photo Credit: Helene Binet

2000 Zaha Hadid: Is where it all started. The Serpentine Gallery asked Zaha Hadid to “radically reinvented the accepted idea of a tent or a marquee”. Her design was a triangulated roof structure spanning an impressive internal space of 600sq metres by using a steel primary structure.  Its interest caused a stir and started what has gone on to become one of the most anticipated architectural events of the year.



Related posts:

  1. The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, 2012 by Herzog & de Muron and Ai Weiwei All Photo credits: Iwan Baan. The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, opens today, unveiling the work of going collaboration between Swiss Architects Herzog & de Meuron and Chinese activist-artist Ai Weiwei. By joining forces they were able to qualify for designing a temporary structure in the heart of Kensington Gardens. Photo Credit:...
Leave A Comment


Yep, we publish your designs, interview and profile your clever people, list job postings, and have regular advertising spots.

What We Do?

Giving Back


Send us a mail and see how we can help you.





Sign Up Newsletter