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Zaha Hadid to transform Serpentine munitions depot

A former munitions depot is to be transformed into London’s newest contemporary art space by the Serpentine Gallery by Zaha Hadid, it has been announced.

The Grade II listed building in Kensington Gardens will host modern exhibitions by world-renowned artists and is expected to be open in time for the London 2012 Olympics.

Zaha Hadid, whose design for a concrete art gallery in Rome won the RIBA Stirling Prize for best new European building, will renovate the structure.

The new Serpentine Sackler Gallery will be housed in the Magazine building owned by the Royal Parks and leased to the art organisation for 20 years.

Mark Camley, the Royal Parks’ chief executive, said: “We are delighted to bring this unique listed building into public use for the first time, providing an exciting new cultural destination for park visitors.”

He added: “Income generated from the licence will be invested back into the Royal Parks for everyone to enjoy.”

In a bid to make better use of its buildings the Royal Parks invited proposals for new uses for the structure in August last year and the Serpentine was announced today as the winner of three shortlisted entries.

The Magazine building dates from 1765 but later additions were made in the early 19th century increasing its size to 8,000sq.ft.

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