Zaha Hadid Architects
London, United Kingdom | View Map
Project Year
Luke Hayes
Product Spec Sheet

ElementBrandProduct Name
Furniture SupplierSerralunga
Lighting ManufacturerZumtobel Lighting Gmbh
ChandelierSwarovski AG
Membrane FabricationBase Structures Ltd
SupplierMax Protech

Product Spec Sheet
Furniture Supplier
Lighting Manufacturer
Membrane Fabrication


Zaha Hadid Architects as Architects

The Lilas installation for the Serpentine Gallery’s annual summer party consisted of three identical tensile fabric structures, arranged like parasols around the centre of the space. The piece was inspired by the complex natural geometry of flower petals and leaves. Each widened gracefully from a slender base into a broad, cantilevered canopy more than five metres high. The three parasols overlapped, delicately interweaving but never touching, mediating between open and closed spaces and allowing air, light and sound to travel through narrow gaps in the pavilion. The Lilas were elevated on a low platform in the centre of the site, which was flanked by a row of trees to the south of the gallery and open on all sides. During the day, its canopy provided shade; at night it was transformed into a source of light, which radiated from the base along thin seams in the surface of the fabric. These illuminated bands gave the impression of veins, revealing the geometric intricacy of the Lilas and tracing the delicate arc of the forms. The Lilas Installation is as an open air structure rising to 5.5m which consists of three identical tensile fabric parasols arrayed about a centroid. Each parasol develops sculpturally from a small diamond shaped base into a large cantilevered covering. Inspired by the complex repeating geometries of nature such as those of the Lilac Hibiscus, the three parasols continuously overlap, being above its first neighbour and below its next creating a set of compound arcs articulating the pavilion’s main conceptual feature: complex symmetry. As the parasols interweave they all-the-while do so without touching, allowing air, light and sound to travel through narrow gaps in a state that is both open and closed.

Raised on a low platform located within an open field flanked by a row of trees just South of the Serpentine Gallery, the Lilas Installation is free standing and accessible from all sides. Accommodating movement throughout the site, the Installation is enigmatic. In the day it provides shading, while at night the installation undergoes an energetic transformation into a source of illumination. From continuous lighting around each base, light is thrown up the fabric surfaces along very thin seams that radiate about the parasols and act like corseting or the veining of flowers revealing the geometric intricacy of the structure and highlighting the overall architectural form in calligraphic arcs. Patterning

PVC fabric is welded together with heat and forms a structural connection. This technique can be applied in many ways to ensure the strucutral stability of the tension system.

For the Lilas installation, the welding, or seaming of the fabric is developed in vertical strips to create a corsetted effect along the legnth of the arc. The final fabric piece will contain 26 uninterruped panels. Detailing

The detail connection to ensure the overall appearance of the structure is fluid is developed by rolling the fabric over the main support rings at the top and bottom. Overlapping will ensure that the fabric creates a continuous line arcing around the tube. From below the connection will be hidden from sight by the angle of vision

Share or Add Lilas to your Collections
Project Credits
Products used in this project
RG apartment
next project

RG apartment

Israel - Build completed in 2021
View Project