The plastic lantern: Herzog and de Meuron's Laban Centre in London.
Ever since the 1950s, there have been short-lived fads for plastic-clad buildings. The last time round, it was the 1980s and a new translucent wonder material known as twin-wall polycarbonate, very handy for greenhouses and garden centres, was quite the thing among architects experimenting with curvy shapes. It should come as a bit of a shock to find this now mundane stuff revived in a landmark cultural building in 2003. But the new Laban dance centre in Deptford by Herzog and de Meuron makes plastic seem natural, valuable, and somehow inevitable.