A Look Inside SelgasCano’s First UK Project

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In an article for The Observer  examines ‘Second Home’, a newly opened “creative hub” in London designed by Spanish practice SelgasCano, who were recently announced as the designers of the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion. For Moore the project, which is the practice’s first building in the UK, offers a “lightness and grace as well as invention, and an awareness of when to stop.” The building is designed to be fluid, allowing start-up creative businesses to move in and move out as and when their business model dictates. Heavy tables can emerge from the floor, and ‘roaming zones’ facilitate creative thought. According to Moore’s review, there “are no water-coolers, no kitchenettes, [and] no microwaves.”

The Work of SelgasCano, the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion Designers

Office in the Woods. Image © Iwan Baan

The latest designer of the prestigious Serpentine Gallery Pavilion has been named as SelgasCano, the Spanish practice known for their use of the latest synthetic materials and new technology. The Serpentine Pavilion, which has grown to become one of the most visited annual architecture attractions in the world, aims to provide architects who have never built in the UK their first chance to do so. In the past, this has led to pavilions by globally-recognized names such as Frank Gehry, Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Oscar Niemeyer, and Peter Zumthor, but in recent years the Serpentine Gallery seems to have changed course a little, instead bringing lesser-known, emergent stars to a much wider audience. This was true of Smiljan Radić and his 2014 pavilion, and will likely prove true for the duo of José Selgas and Lucía Cano.

Although designs for the 2015 pavilion will not be released until February, SelgasCano have promised ”to use only one material… the Transparency,” adding that “the most advanced technologies will be needed to be employed to accomplish that transparency.” This coy description perhaps calls to mind the design of their own office, a partially sunken tube of a building with one side made entirely of curved glass, which won them widespread recognition in 2009.

To give a better idea of the design style that SelgasCano will bring to the 2015 Serpentine Pavilion, we’ve rounded up a number of their major projects for your viewing pleasure, after the break.

SelgasCano to Design 2015 Serpentine Pavilion

Architecture Office. Image ©

Spanish architects SelgasCano have been selected to design the 2015 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, which has become one of the top-ten most visited architectural and design exhibitions in the world. The Pavilion will stand in Kensington Gardens during the summer and serving as a multi-purpose social space.

The award-winning studio is led by José Selgas and Lucía Cano and will be the first Spanish architecture practice to design a Serpentine Pavilion, with AECOM once again providing the engineering and technical design services. Although designs will not be revealed until February 2015, SelgasCano had this to say about designing the pavilion:

“This is an amazing and unique opportunity to work in a Royal Garden in the centre of London. Both aspects, ‘Garden’ and ‘London’, are very important for us in the development of this project. We are in the middle of a garden, a ‘Royal’ garden indeed, once divided in two and separated by a Serpentine. That garden clings in the middle of London. Garden and London (which best defines London?) will be the elements to show and develop in the Pavilion. For that we are going to use only one material as a canvas for both: the Transparency. That ‘material’ has to be explored in all its structural possibilities, avoiding any other secondary material that supports it, and the most advanced technologies will be needed to be employed to accomplish that transparency. A good definition for the pavilion can be taken from J. M. Barrie: it aims to be as a ‘Betwixt-and-Between’.”

Silicon House / Selgas Cano

© Pablo Zuloaga

Architects: Selgas Cano
Location: Madrid, Spain
Authors: Jose Selgas, Lucia Cano
Project Team: José de Villar, Miguel San Millán, Lara Resco, Blas Antón
Structural Engineer: FHECOR
Electrical Engineer: JG
Mechanical Engineer: Isidro Fernández
Year: 2006
Photographs: Pablo Zuloaga, Iwan Baan, Roland Halbe, Courtesy of Selgas Cano

Venice Biennale 2012: SPAINLab / Spain Pavilion


During the 13th Venice Architecture Biennale opening, we had the chance to interview Débora Mesa, curator of the Pavilion together with Antón García-Abril, partners at Ensamble Studio.

SPAINLab, the name of the exhibit, looks to expose the research process behind the works of contemporary Spanish Architects:

© Nico Saieh

More photos about the pavilion and description from Anton and Débora after the break:

Auditorium in Cartagena / Selgas Cano

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Architects: Selgas Cano
Location: Cartagena, Spain
Project Architect: Jose Selgas, Lucía Cano
Project Team: Lara Resco, José de Villar, José Jaraiz, Lorena del Río, Blas Antón, Miguel San Millán, Carlos Chacón, Julián Fernandez, Beatriz Quintana, Jaehoon Yook, Jeongwoo Choi, Laura Culiañez, Bárbara Bardín
Architectural Assistant: Antonio Mármol, Joaquín Cárceles, Rául Jiménez
Completion: 2011
Site Area: 5,628 sqm
Total Square Footage: 18,500 sqm
Budget: 34.5 Euro
Photographs: Iwan Baan

Merida Factory Youth Movement / Selgas Cano

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Architects: Selgas Cano / Jose Selgas, Lucia Cano
Location: Merida,
Client: Junta de Extremadura
Project Year: 2011
Project Area: 3,090 sqm
Photographs: Iwan Baan

Selgas Cano Architecture Office by Iwan Baan

Once again, Iwan Baan amaze us with this great project between the woods by Spanish practice Selgas Cano: Their own architecture office.

You can see the complete photoset after the break.