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Metropol Parasol: Organic Design in an Ancient City

January 20, 2012 0 Comments

Metropol Parasol in Seville

Harrington blogger Amber Moore shares her take on one of Spain's most unique and engaging structures.

From 2005 to 2011, a giant concrete, timber and steel structure slowly grew larger and larger, casting an ever-widening patchwork shadow across the heart of sun-soaked Plaza de la Encarnacion in Seville, Spain.

This structure, the Metropol Parasol, has a function that is as challenging as its design is intricate: to provide shade over an archeological site and farmers market while providing an elevated plaza and areas for multiple bars and restaurants. Spanning 5,000 square meters, the Metropol Parasol’s building area has transformed the medieval plaza into a stunning masterpiece of contemporary design.

The waffle-like Metropol Parasol is the result of the Plaza de la Encarnacion redevelopment project competition, won by J. MAYER H. Architects. With its concrete base and soaring woven pieces of steel and timber coated in polyurethane, the Metropol Parasol is an organic design that invites tourists and visitors into the plaza center, creating a natural social hive for activity even while it protects the Roman ruins below it. Throughout the day, interesting shadows form and move below the intricately designed Parasol, creating an ever-changing backdrop for the Plaza.

I found the mix of the design with the city to be absolutely breathtaking! Seville has undoubtedly accomplished a nearly impossible task: to protect and highlight the past while striding strongly forward into the future. It seems that not all Seville residents are fans though – what do you think?  Have you seen the structure? If so, please share your impression in the comments section below!

See some stunning pictures of the structure here

Photo by Juan ACP

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