The Serpentine Sackler Gallery has two parts, one is a conversion of a classical 19th century brick structure called The Magazine and the other is a contemporary tensile structure designed by Zaha Hadid.
The gallery is the second art space in which the practice of Zaha Hadid Architects blended in the historic with the contemporary and the Magazine was initially designed as a gunpowder store in 1805 with tro raw brick barrel spaces and a lower surrounding structure.
The transformation of the unused space into a public art gallery reinstated the historic arrangement of the Magazine building and it became a freestanding pavilion in an enclosure with the former courtyards being covered to become internal exhibition spaces. The non-historic partition walls of the stores were removed and the vaults became a part of the sequence of galleries.
The former courtyard became an interior gallery with roof lights providing natural light inside and a louver system ensuring the optimal amount of light. The extension has an open social space which tries to offer a new cultural and culinary destination complementing the classical building with a contemporary space which seems temporary but is actually a permanent building.