Interview Yana Peel: Serpentine Gallery CEO discusses arts and ideas

The Serpentine Galleries hold a unique position. They are nestled in Kensington Gardens in London’s glorious Hyde Park. They occupy discreet spaces and you may not even notice them walking by. Yet the two boutique galleries – Serpentine and Sackler – have held some of the most exciting exhibitions in the city. Then there is the annual commission for the Serpentine Gallery pavilions – one of the most anticipated events in the architecture... Read More

Serpentine Pavilion 2017 by African architect Francis Kéré

This is Diébédo Francis Kéré’s gentle architectural installation for the annual Serpentine Pavilion project. It will sit here on the lawns of Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park in London until October encouraging the public to enter, sit, read, eat, interact. The 2017 Pavilion is a far cry from last year’s jazzy unzipped wall of cold, hard-edged metallic boxes by Bjarke Ingels. Whereas that was a brilliant visual statement and picture-perfect... Read More

Book review: Chairs by Architects

Architects have a fondness for designing chairs. It stems from a long tradition – the pieces of furniture often acting as architectural manifestos, small tokens representing the ideology and style of the architect. David Adjaye says it is like a ‘testing ground for ideas that interest me’. The architect has worked with manufacturer Knoll on a number of projects including the 2013 Washington Skeleton and Washington Skin chairs. Furniture,... Read More

BIG’s Serpentine Pavilion and summer houses

There is a delicate neo-classical building on a little hill in the middle of Kensington Gardens nestled in thick grass and wild flowers and with views over the Long Water. You can see Henry Moore’s Arch across the water from here. I often run in Kensington Gardens stopping briefly by this romantic summer house. There is an old tree to its right – the trunk is a good size and perfect for a hand stand. Upside-down, the summer house is even more... Read More

London celebrates design & ideology with new biennale

London is in the midst of quite a creative moment. The Design Museum is soon to open in the £83m conversion of the former Commonwealth Institute in Kensington, and the V&A has announced plans for a second museum of visual culture in east London’s Olympicopolis at the south end of the Olympic Park where there will also be a Sadler’s Wells and Washington DC’s Smithsonian outposts. But before all this kicks off, the city will experience... Read More

Archibet, from Aalto to Zaha Hadid

A charming little book arrived here this week. Archibet is the work of the Italian architect and graphic designer Federico Babina who has set about creating an alphabet book inspired by some of the world’s most talented architects. Designed as postcards, each of the 26 pages is dedicated to an alphabet and a corresponding creative from Alvar Aalto to Zaha Hadid. Admittedly, even though the British architect is often referred to by her first... Read More

Serpentine Sackler Gallery by Zaha Hadid

This is the new Serpentine Sackler Gallery, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. Buried in London’s Hyde Park, in Kensington Gardens, the building breaths new life into The Magazine, a former 1805 gunpowder store. It is also a short walking distance from its parent space, the Serpentine Gallery. The Magazine was a quite neoclassical building. It used to blend in with the park’s wildlife. I cannot recall having paid much attention to it on my... Read More

Car design trends: Frankfurt Motor Show 2011

We are at the start of the second life of the automobile. Up until recently, cars were more of less about individual mobility, personal space, about ownership. It has been about creating beautiful or quirky sculpture. With our diminishing fossil fuel reserves, concerns for the environment and world economic recession, the closeted, cosy world of the automobile has had to shift. I recall going to see controversial ex-BMW design boss Chris Bangle... Read More

Stirling Prize winner: Zaha Hadid’s Evelyn Grace

This year’s RIBA Stirling Prize winner Evelyn Grace Academy in London’s Brixon carries all the hallmarks of a Zaha Hadid designed building – strong outlines, futuristic curves, slants, jaunty angles and impressive dimensions. The exterior is an amalgamation of sheer metallic facades and sculpted reflective surfaces, making it appear from the outside a dynamic, streamlined, high performance building. #gallery-14 { margin:... Read More

London Design Festival 2011 higlights

At the Grand Entrance to the Victoria & Albert Museum sits a giant installation cascading down the steps – the dramatic and soaring Timber Wave responding to the museum’s vast, ornamental and multilayered façade. This is the work of London firm Amanda Levete Architects who, with the help of structural engineer Arup, has created this complex three-dimensional latticework spiral from American red oak, using lamination techniques normally... Read More

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