For every Pavilion commission, the selection of the architect is led by Serpentine’s core curatorial thinking: to choose architects who consistently extend the boundaries of contemporary architectural practice and to introduce these practitioners to wider audiences.
The architectural brief is to design a 300-square-metre Pavilion that is used as a café and meeting space by day and a forum for learning, debate and entertainment at night. Since its inception, the Pavilion has become an established home for Serpentine’s experimental Live Programmes. There is no budget for the project: it is raised through sponsorship, in-kind support and the sale of the Pavilion. The commission was first conceived by former Serpentine director, Julia Peyton-Jones, in 2000, with Zaha Hadid, who designed the inaugural Pavilion.
Park Nights, a series of performance commissions, takes place in the Pavilion every summer. From art to music, dance to literature, Park Nights supports emerging artists.