Metropol Parasol

First, a random thought – did you know you spoke Polish? The world ‘parasol’ which is (not so frequently, but still) used in English – is the only word used in Polish for the item 🙂

After this silly introduction, I would like to present to you the biggest wooden structure in the world, the biggest umbrella – Metropol Parasol which is located at La Encarnación square, in the old quarter of Seville, Spain. Designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann, the structure resembles a grove of prefabricated wooden trees soaring 26 meters into the air, measuring 150 by 70 metres.  The building is popularly known as Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnación’s mushrooms).

The Metropol Parasol actually is a device for revitalising the Plaza de la Encarnación, which was used as a parking lot for years and seen as a dead spot between more popular tourist destinations in the city. The structure consists of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms, whose design is inspired by the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville and the ficus trees in nearby Plaza de Cristo de Burgos. The Parasol contains a market, shops, and a podium for concerts and events. In the basement is an Antiquarium, where Roman and Moorish remains discovered on-site are displayed in a museum. On the roof there is an open-air public plaza, shaded by the wooden parasols above and designed for public events. There are panoramic terraces, including a restaurant, offering one of the best views of the city centre.

It looks like an item from different space, thrust into the landspace of old Seville by some random mistake. It looks well out of place for some. For me, it looks intriguing, grand and a nice idea for revitalisation. Well done, Seville, that you have approved such a bold move.

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