Il Metropol Parasol is a light wood structure located in Square of the Incarnation, in the old Jewish quarter of Seville. It is located right in the city center between the shopping area, Calle Feria, Plaza del Duque and Plaza Ponce de Leon.
It was designed by the German architect Jürgen Mayer and completed in April 2011. It is an imposing structure that reaches 150 meters on one side and 70 meters in length on the other, with an approximate height of 26 meters. It boasts the primacy of being the largest wooden structure in the world.
Its appearance, location, delays and cost overruns in construction have caused a lot of public controversy. The building is also known as The Mushrooms of the Incarnation, that is, the "mushrooms of the incarnation", with reference to the name of the square in which it is located.
This funny nickname takes up the structure of the building: it is in fact six "umbrellas", reminiscent of gods giant mushrooms linked together. This shape is actually inspired by vaults of the Cathedral of Seville and the ficus trees of the nearby Plaza de Cristo de Burgos, as well as some lines reminiscent of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.
Visita del Metropol Parasol
The Metropol Parasol consists of four floors, each of which houses a different attraction.
The underground floor (floor 0) houses theantiquarium, where archaeological departments of Roman and Moorish origin are preserved, which came to light during the construction of the Metropol. This part of the complex consists of a series of sections of ruins, visible through glass panels.
The visit to the museum itself consists of a journey on a glass path, placed above the excavations. The museum can be visited from 10.00 to 20.00 from Tuesday to Saturday, and is open on Sunday from 10.00 to 14.00. The cost of the entrance ticket is 2 euros.
The first floor (street level) houses the Central Market, dedicated to food. The roof of this floor only delineates the square footage of the open public square, shaded by the wooden parasols above and designed for public events and concerts. You can consult the events scheduled by going to the setasdesevilla.com website, in the Eventos section.
Floors 2 and 3 are two panoramic terraces, from which you can enjoy excellent views of the city. The panoramic terraces can be accessed from 10.00 to 14.00 and from 18.00 to 24.00. There is a small fee to be paid to access the highest panoramic terrace, equal to 3 euros.
The Metropol Parasol project
The Metropol Parasol project was born from the intent of re-evaluate a public space: on the square, since the nineteenth century, there had always been a market, housed in a building that over the years had fallen a little into disrepair.
Already in 1990 a construction project for a underground parking, underlying the market. However, when gods were discovered during construction historical departments, the works were interrupted.
In 2004 the city decided to try to develop the area again and opened a international competition to solicit offers. Construction began in June 2005, for an estimated cost of 50 million euros.
The problems of the project
During the works, numerous problems were encountered, due precisely to structural shortcomings of the project. Due to the choice of using wood, it was difficult to give stability to the structure to make it safe.
Only in 2010, 3 years late from the estimated completion date, was a right and necessary modification made: the use of a special glue made it possible to successfully complete the works, making Metropol Parasol.