Metropol Parasol – The Largest Wooden Structure in the World

Metropol Parasol – The Largest Wooden Structure in the World

Metropol Parasol is one of the most creative and outstanding redevelopment of the city square – Plaza de la Encarnacion in Seville, Spain. In 2004 German Architect Jurgen Mayer H. won the competition of creating a new iconic place for Seville. 2011 Mayer presented the new world’s largest wooden structure in style of urbanism of the 21st century. The bizarre frame, shaped as a gigantic mushroom, consists of 8000 wooden items, covering 5000 sq m of the Plaza (the size is 150 by 70 meters, built on 4 levels with a maximum height of 26 meters).

It took a series of complicated computer calculations to design and build such a strong structure, considering each piece of the puzzle and its placement – any small change would impact the whole building. Each wooden piece is unique in shape and doesn’t have a repetition. Parts of the new landmark are connected with steel bars and a special glue (developed specially for the structure) – a very risky step taking into account severe summer temperatures in Spain. The construction of Metropol Parasol cost 90 million euros (around 130 million dollars). One of the main purposes of the giant mushroom is to protect the remains of the Roman architecture (archeology museum now) – partly determining the shape and dimension of the building – and at the same time the commercial side of attracting more tourists to Seville and Spain.

[Sources: J. Mayer H.]

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  • Ara

    Definitely an aspiring structure which show intelligence & creativity of the designer. Combination mind of landscape architect as well as architectural aspect of it, is a necessity to produce design as such. I am personally looking forward to view the structure in my own eyes.

  • Paul S. Anderson

    It is a very impressive statement and is surely an exciting structure to see in person.
    A question that comes to mind however is what are the expected life-span and maintenance costs associated with the large quantity of exposed members apparently crafted from wood?
    The appearance of wood can not be discerned from the photos so they must be painted or coated in some manner.
    I hope the execution looks as good in five years as it does in these photos.

  • Terence MacSwiney Field

    This is NOT Architecture by any stretch of the imagination. The three essential criteria of architecture are, ‘aesthetics’ of the building, the ‘sensitivity’ to its surroundings and most of all its ‘functionality’. None of those three criteria have been met. This is nothing more than a waste of €90 million on a useless piece of ‘engineering’ – not architecture.

  • Bricklyne C.

    @ Terence.

    That’s just your opinion, which, with all due respect, is not worth that much.

    Besides which, if we were to limit all built works to those “3 essential (more like ridiculous) criteria”, we would have to strip off more than half the works by venerated masters and respected Architects in history and in the present.

    ‘Aesthetics’ is a subjective precept which would automatically eliminate the works of people like Gaudi, Frank Lloyd Wright, etc etc.

    ‘Sensitivity to surroundings’ (bye bye Gugenheim New York, Bilbao, and anything by Pritzker winners Zaha Hadid, Mayne, Gehry et al

    ‘Funcitonality’ – I don’t see how this even applies to this project since it would seem from the looks of it, that this project has fulfilled all its functionality requirements –
    protecting the old Roman architecture below it, serving as a path and also as a tourist attraction and feature.

    So even by your ridiculous criteria, the project succeeds, and it’s subjectively arguable that it also does so on the other 2 criteria.
    i.e. it’s a beautiful structure, and it is sensitive to its surroundings insofar as its function (protecting the surrounding architecture) enhances and serves its surroundings.

    Like I said, your opinion – not worth a whole bag of peanuts

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