Temporary Foundation System – Serpentine 2008

Temporary Foundation System – Serpentine 2008

Portfolio Categories: Modular and Temporary.


Project Description

GTL were appointed by the Serpentine Gallery to design, supply, install and remove the foundations for the 2008 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion designed by Frank Gehry. Each year the client requires a foundation system that can support the temporary pavilion building yet be removed at the end of the Pavilions’ life.

Geotechnical Ground Conditions

The soils investigation indicated that the ground had superficial deposits of sand and gravels over the London clay formation.

Helical Pile Design

GTL designed the 4 number helical piles and associated grillage for each of the four main columns. GTL carried out a static analysis using end bearing 450 diameter helical plates to generate the required 100 kN pile capacity. All piles were designed at 7.0 m long from site formation level. The top of the piles were connected to a grillage designed by GTL to receive the columns from the Arup designed superstructure. GTL completed the pile and grillage installation in 4 days.


Four months later, when the structure was dismantled, GTL were employed to uninstall the piles. The removal took 4 days from start to finish, this left the Park authorities with just the re-landscaping to complete the regeneration of the space.

“We are enormously grateful to you and your team for your phenomenal efforts which ensured the successful delivery of The Summer Party this year. With your support, the party was a tremendous success, whilst also raising significant funds for the Serpentine Gallery. We very much look forward to working together again in the future.”

Julia Peyton-Jones Director, Serpentine Gallery