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Second Home London Office / Selgascano

  • Architects: Selgascano
  • Location: 68-80 Hanbury Street, London E1 5JL, UK
  • Partners: José Selgas, Lucia Cano
  • Project Area: 2400.0 m2
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Iwan Baan

© Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan

UNStudio's Ben van Berkel on Designing High-Rise for Central London

In the latest episode of Monocle's Section D, Josh Fehnert talks to Ben van Berkel, co-founder and principal of Amsterdam-based UNStudio, about London's new Caneletto residential tower. The office, which was founded in 1988, has completed projects around the world ranging from Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge to the Mercedes-Benz Museumin Stuttgart. With over 81 built projects, and 54 currently in progress (including Raffles City in Hangzhou and Scotts Tower in Singapore), London’s Canaletto Tower (which is due to be completed in 2015) marks the practice’s first major project in the UK. The tower, located at the confluence of two London districts — Islington and Shoreditch — marks a significant moment for the Dutch practice's œuvre.

AD Classics: V&A Spiral / Daniel Libeskind + Cecil Balmond

The violent insertion of Daniel Libeskind’s Spiral into the Victorian neighborhood of South Kensington renders a cataclysmic disruption into a landscape of order and propriety. It envisions a rupture in the fabric of space and time, aggressively anachronistic from the building it adjoins, unapologetically appealing not to cultured humanism but to the mathematical logic of complexity and chaos. What is now textbook "Libeskind" was in 1996 a shocking non-starter for the London establishment, an unacceptable risk for a city perpetually torn between its agitated cosmopolitan energies and its quintessential impulse toward nostalgia and restraint. Nearly twenty years after the Spiral was selected as the winner of a distinguished international competition, this controversial extension proposal for the Victoria and Albert Museum remains unbuilt.

Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind Courtesy of Balmond Studio & Studio Libeskind

Populous Creates Eames-Inspired Installation for World Architecture Festival London

Taking inspiration from Charles and Ray Eames’ House of Cards, London-based practice Populous have developed an installation for the inaugural World Architecture Festival (WAF) exhibition. Built from "hundreds of super-sized multiples of a single ‘W' form, the dramatic seven metre high installation forms the centrepiece" of an exhibition which seeks to showcase "the very best in world architecture." This year, 350 projects have been shortlisted from some the world’s best architects and designers.

© Hufton + Crow © Hufton + Crow © Hufton + Crow © Hufton + Crow

SelgasCano's Serpentine Pavilion: "Cheap Plastic Bag" or "Pop-Art Inflatable Funscape"?

We're just three days into the four-month display of SelgasCano's 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion and the comments it has generated from ArchDaily readers have already been as colorful as the pavilion itself - with criticisms ranging from "worst Serpentine Gallery Pavilion ever" to "trash bag monster" and a few other comparisons that I'd rather not even repeat. This may surprise some people, but at ArchDaily we do actually read the comments section, and we get it: unless you're the brave and persistent soul who comments as "notyourproblem," who thinks "it must be exciting getting inside those tunnels," there's a good chance that you hate this pavilion - and I don't use the word "hate" lightly.

But is this violent dismissal warranted? In short, is SelgasCano's pavilion as bad as you probably think it is? Fortunately, we're not the only publication giving the pavilion extensive coverage: as usual the Serpentine Gallery has attracted a number of the UK's most well-known critics. Find out what they thought of the pavilion after the break.

© Laurian Ghinitoiu © Laurian Ghinitoiu © Jim Stephenson © Laurian Ghinitoiu

SelgasCano's Serpentine Pavilion / Images by Laurian Ghinitoiu

Take a peek into SelgasCano's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion—which opened on June 22—through the lens of Romanian photographer Laurian Ghinitoiu

Iwan Baan's Images of Selgas Cano's 2015 Serpentine Pavilion

With the opening ceremony of SelgasCano's Serpentine Gallery pavilion earlier today, the Serpentine Gallery has released a set of images by Iwan Baan, capturing the riotous color explosion delivered by the pavilion's ETFE wrapping. Always one of London's most popular architectural attractions over the summer, this year marks the pavilion's 15th anniversary, and will be on display until October 18th.

Read on after the break for more images - and stay tuned to this posts for updates throughout the day!

Serpentine Pavilion designed by selgascano 2015. Image © Iwan Baan Serpentine Pavilion designed by selgascano 2015. Image © Iwan Baan Serpentine Pavilion designed by selgascano 2015. Image © Iwan Baan Serpentine Pavilion designed by selgascano 2015. Image © Iwan Baan

SelgasCano's 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion Opens

The 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion was revealed today in London, showcasing the colorful plastic design by SelgasCano to the public for the first time. Consisting of a minimal steel frame wrapped in multi-colored ETFE sheets and webbing, the design is encompassed by "secret corridors" which provide access to the main internal space, inspired by the multi-layered and sometimes chaotic network of the London underground.

© Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla © Daniel Portilla

Transport for London Orders Review of the Garden Bridge Procurement Process

As reported in the Architects' Journal, Transport for London (TfL) – the authority in charge of the Garden Bridge programme, which was approved last year – have ordered a review into the procurement process leading up to Heatherwick's selection to design a new bridge spanning the Thames. Sir Peter Hendy, Commissioner for TfL, will "review of the overall process of procurement of the design contracts, the findings of which [will be published] in full." This statement follows the revelation that Heatherwick Studio’s estimated total price (which was wrongly redacted in response to a Freedom of Information request made by the AJ last February) "was far higher than its two fellow bidders in the 2013 invited concept design competition." Full information about the request is detailed here.

First Images Revealed of SelgasCano's Serpentine Pavilion In Progress

With this year's Serpentine Pavilion in London scheduled to open next week, the Serpentine Gallery has released construction images of SelgasCano's multi-colored plastic shelter. The images by NAARO show the double-skinned ETFE-coated structure taking shape, and give an impression of the spatial experience offered by the "secret corridors" which circumnavigate and provide access to the interior space.

© NAARO © NAARO © NAARO © NAARO

Monocle 24 Investigates Playful Design and the Role of Luck in Shaping our Cities

For this week's editions of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, and The Urbanist, their weekly "guide to making better cities," the Monocle team investigate the how the act of playing can shape design and the role of luck in our cities.

In Section D, David Plaisant meets artist Simon Terrill at the new Brutalist Playground, currently on display at the RIBA in London. Terrill, along with Assemble, have reimagined a concrete childrens' playground from one of the UK's Brutalist housing estates, in foam – plus more. In this week's edition of The Urbanist, Andrew Tuck explores the role of luck (and misfortune) in our cities, from how architects apply the philosophy of feng shui to their work to a Brazilian district that it was given the name of Boa Sorte ('good luck' in Portuguese). The show also visits Moore – the city dubbed as "tornado alley of Tornado Alley" – in Oklahoma, US, to understand how best to build in such intense climactic environments.

Listen to both episodes after the break.

Richard Rogers Appeals for Public Support to Save Robin Hood Gardens from Demolition

When it was announced in 2012 that London's Robin Hood Gardens – Alison and Peter Smithson's world-famous Brutalist housing estate – was to be demolished, there was outrage among the architectural community. Since then, many have called for the profession to act in order to protect "one of Britain’s most important post-war housing projects," which led to a fresh bid to save the scheme in March of this year. Richard Rogers, Simon Smithson (a partner at RSHP and son of Alison and Peter Smithson), and academic Dirk van den Heuvel have now called upon members of the public to voice their concerns to the UK Ministry for Culture, Media and Sport, before the end of the week:

"Previous efforts in 2009 to have the building listed failed, but the case has now been re-opened and we understand that the new Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage will be reviewing the arguments at the end of this week [w/c 15th June 2015]."

Living Staircase / Paul Cocksedge

© Mark Cocksedge © Mark Cocksedge © Mark Cocksedge © Mark Cocksedge

The Architectural Monograph is Here to Stay

The monograph is a popular platform for dissemination and debate in the art and design world, yet architectural monographs are often treated with suspicion – viewed more as a self-serving PR exercise. But do monographs actually have a more substantive role within the practice of architecture? This was the backdrop for a discussion entitled ‘Why a Monograph?’ held at Waterstones Piccadilly as part of this year’s London Festival of Architecture. The participants included Jay Merrick, architecture correspondent of The Independent; Simon Henley of Henley Halebrown Rorrison (HHbR); David Grandorge, architectural photographer and Senior Lecturer at London’s CASS; and Ros Diamond of Diamond Architects. The session was chaired by ArchDaily Editor James Taylor-Foster.

Wellcome Collection London Transformation / Wilkinson Eyre Architects

Courtesy of Wellcome Trust © Craig Sheppard © Craig Sheppard © Edmund Sumner

Thomas Heatherwick on People, Plants, Buses and Buildings

In an exclusive hour-long interview with British designer Thomas Heatherwick, Monocle's Andrew Tuck discusses building a business in the world of design and architecture, the process behind revamping the iconic red London bus, and the inspiration behind placing people – and plants – at the heart of the River Thames. Heatherwick leads London-based Heatherwick Studio, a multidisciplinary design practice who have recently completed a distillery in England and a learning hub in central Singapore, They are currently collaborating with BIG on the new Google Campus in San Francisco having been recently labelled as among the top ten most innovative architectural practices of 2015 by FastCompany.

Listen to the interview in full below:

Gallery: Assemble's Brutalist Playground Opens at RIBA

An exploration of "post-war design for play," The Brutalist Playground by Assemble and artist Simon Terrill has opened to the public at RIBA's Architecture Gallery. The immersive installation draws on a number of historic London estates - Churchill Gardens, Pimlico; the Brunel Estate, Paddington and the Brownfield Estate in Poplar - where playgrounds were once made from concrete and cast into sculptural forms to offer children an abstract landscape for play. Now deemed unsafe, these playgrounds no longer exist. Thus, The Brutalist Playground was envisaged to explore play, "the Brutalist way." 

Images of the complete installation, after the break.

© Tristan Fewings / Getty Images for RIBA © Tristan Fewings / Getty Images for RIBA © Tristan Fewings / Getty Images for RIBA © Tristan Fewings / Getty Images for RIBA