Summer at Hyde Park

Day to Day

We feel fortunate to have our Design Studio in South Kensington, just a short walk from Hyde Park. With many of our hotels nearby, we often spend summer months strolling through this beautiful park. In today's blog post, we’re excited to explore all that Hyde Park has to offer this summer.

We recently joined the Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, an organisation dedicated to preserving the beauty of these parks. They host about six events annually, offering access to rarely opened areas. One recent event took us to the Italian Gardens, created in the 1860s by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria. These gardens feature elegant fountains and a statue of Edward Jenner, the creator of the smallpox vaccine.

We also visited the pump house, where a steam engine once powered the fountains. The original architectural details are still intact, including these beautiful windows.

Next, we discovered England’s first pet cemetery, tucked away in a Hyde Park Lodge garden. It was fascinating to see the headstones and read the dedications, reflecting popular pet names and stories from the Victorian era. Though not open to the public, the cemetery appears in Peter Sellers’ film ‘The Optimists of Nine Elms’ and J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan stories.

Closer to our studio, the Serpentine Gallery is a favourite spot. Every summer, a new studio designs a unique pavilion. This year’s ‘Archipelagic Void’, by South Korean architect Minsuk Cho and Mass Studies, features five quirky timber structures linked by a steel ring, each serving a distinct function.

Sound Garden

The sound installation by composer Jang Young-Gyu blends natural and human sounds from Kensington Gardens with traditional Korean vocal music and instruments to capture the changing seasons. The serene soundtrack creates a tranquil atmosphere amidst the park’s greenery.

Library

The Library of Unread Books, curated by Heman Chong and Renée Staal, is a ‘living’ reference library composed of donated, unread books. This unique collection addresses themes of access, excess, and the politics of distribution.

Auditorium

The Auditorium is the largest structure of the Pavilion, featuring built-in benches along its inner walls to host public gatherings, performances, and talks. The bright pink windows provide a striking contrast to the black structure, adding extra drama.

Play Tower

The Play Tower is a dynamic pyramid structure equipped with a bright orange netscape, inviting visitors to climb and interact. It’s an opportunity to rediscover your inner child.

Tea House

The Tea House, a nod to the site’s history, is a charming space inspired by the original Serpentine South building, which served as a teahouse before becoming an art gallery in 1970.

We hope we have inspired you to take a trip to Hyde Park this summer. Find out more or sign up to be a member of Friends of Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens here.