The Stunning Seville Metropol Parasol
The Seville Metropol Parasol is the controversial brain child of German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann. Primarily of wood construction, it towers over La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville, Spain. The parasol has dimensions of 150 by 70 metres (490 by 230 feet) and an approximate height of 26 metres (85 feet) allowing it to claim the title of the world’s largest wooden structure. The people of Seville have quirkily nicknamed it “Las Setas de la Encarnación” or “Encarnación’s mushrooms”.
Source: Cnel Rodrigombia
The structure consists of six parasols, whose design is inspired by the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville and the ficus trees in nearby Plaza de Cristo de Burgos. Metropol Parasol is organized into four levels. The underground level houses the Antiquarium, where Roman and Moorish remains discovered on-site are displayed in a museum. The street level provides a place for the Central Market. The roof of the market allows for an open-air public plaza, shaded by the wooden parasols above and designed for public events. Further levels offer panoramic terraces providing one of the best ways to experience beautiful views of the city.
The medieval Plaza de la Encarnación, located in the city centre of Seville, is of particular historic significance being the traditional centre of city life and having a vibrant market. The Metropol Parasol, was designed to reinvigorate the Plaza as a new and contemporary urban centre.
Construction began in 2005, with an estimated cost of fifty million euros and a projected completion date of June 2007. However, by May 2007 the municipal authorities were informed that the structure’s original design was technically infeasible. A viable design using glue as reinforcement was finally settled on at the beginning of 2009. Due to this delay, the total cost approached one hundred million euros and it was took until April 2011 for the structure to finally be completed.
Despite the delay, the Metropol Parasol serves as a distinctive icon by highlighting the historical significance of the medieval city as well as allowing for a great variety of activities for tourists and locals of the city of Seville alike. The Metropol Parasol is the expression of a highly sophisticated understanding of architecture establishing a vivid relationship between the historical and the contemporary city.