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SDS is delighted to announce its return as a proud sponsor of the 2021 prestigious Serpentine Pavilion architectural project in London’s Kensington Gardens.

From June 11, visitors to the Royal Park will enjoy the spectacular temporary Pavilion constructed in front of the Serpentine Gallery without knowing that a sustainable SDS water infrastructure solution beneath their feet has helped to make it possible.

The annual architectural brief is to design a 300 m2 Pavilion used as a café and meeting space by day and a forum for learning, debate and entertainment at night. This year’s Serpentine Pavilion, the 20th to be built, is designed by the Johannesburg-based architectural studio, Counterspace, directed by Sumayya Vally, and is a coming-together of abstract sculptural forms, designed to represent past and present places of meeting, organising and belonging across London. The forms in the Pavilion are a result of abstracting, superimposing and splicing architectural elements.

Prioritising Sustainability

Engineers from AECOM, returning for their eighth year of involvement with the project, were challenged with realising the technically complex design, and were determined to prioritise the sustainability of the temporary structure.

AECOM worked with SDS to provide the below-ground water infrastructure necessary to capture rainwater runoff from the building’s near-circular roof structure, which has a radius of some 10.5 metres. At more than six metres high, the structure is one of the tallest Pavilions in recent years, from a 350m2 footprint also one of the largest.

During heavy rain, surface water running off the Pavilion will be collected in underground attenuation built with SDS GEOlight® modular storage. Considering the clay ground conditions, it was necessary to design a central attenuation tank to capture rainwater and take it away from the Pavilion foundations, allowing it to infiltrate slowly into the park’s existing soakaway system.

Net Carbon Outcome

A range of reused and repurposed materials have been used in the Serpentine Pavilion 2021. Being made entirely from recycled post-consumer PVC waste, normally destined for landfill, SDS GEOlight® could help minimise the Pavilion’s overall carbon footprint.

SDS Sales and Marketing Director Richard Averley said: “It is a true honour to be once again invited to contribute to this internationally-renowned architectural project. We were also really pleased to have been able to make a difference to the project’s impressive environmental credentials.

There has never been a more important time to celebrate the coming together of communities – a key theme of this year’s project. So, we wish everyone visiting the Pavilion, whether they are enjoying a family day out, or taking part in the cultural events, a truly memorable experience. It is nice to know, that even when it rains, the surface water will be quietly and efficiently taken away.

SDS was first involved in the Serpentine Pavilion project in 2019, when the spectacular tree-like design featured a central cascade of rainwater which was conveyed to a GEOlight® storage tank beneath.