Date: Dec, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain
The Metropol Parasol, popularly known as Las Setas de la Encarnación (Incarnacion’s mushrooms), is a wooden structure located in La Encarnación square in the old quarter of Seville, Spain. It was designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann and completed in April 2011 after six years of construction and a whopping cost of 123 million euros. Covering an area of 490 by 230 ft and an approximate height of 85 ft, the Parasol claims to be the largest wooden structure in the world.
The site was originally intended to become a parking garage, but after excavations revealed archaeological findings, the city of Seville decided to make the site a museum and community center. Metropol Parasol now houses the museum, a farmers market, and an elevated plaza. The underground level (Level 0) houses the Antiquarium, where Roman and Moorish remains discovered on site are displayed. Level 1 (street level) is the Central Market. The roof of Level 1 is the surface of the open-air plaza, shaded by the wooden parasols above and designed for public events. Levels 2 and 3 are the two stages of the panoramic terraces which including a restaurant, offering one of the best views of the surrounding city.
The structure consists of six parasols in the form of giant mushrooms, whose design is inspired by the vaults of the Cathedral de Seville and the ficus trees in the nearby Plaza de Cristo de Burgos. To avoid disturbing the Roman ruins, columns supporting the roof could only come down in a few places. The structural system uses laminated timber (birch tree imported from Finland because of its straight qualities) and steel, held together with high-performing glue, tested to ensure it would withstand the highest imaginable temperatures in the region. Among the project’s boasts is that it is the world’s largest building to be held together by glue.