Metropol Parasol

Metropol Parasol

Bars, Art Galleries and Concert Halls
Sevilla, Spain - Build completed in 2011
David Franck and Fernando Alda

Metropol Parasol

J. MAYER H. und Partner as Architects

"Metropol Parasol", the Redevelopment of the Plaza de la Encarnacíon in Seville received the red dot award "best of the best" 2012 for the highest design quality, expressing innovation in form and function in an outstanding manner.


Designed by J. MAYER H. architects, this project has already become the new landmark for Seville, - a place of identification and to articulate Seville's role as one of the world´s most fascinating cultural destinations. "Metropol Parasol" explores the potential of the Plaza de la Encarnacion to become the new contemporary urban centre. Its role as a unique urban space within the dense fabric of the medieval inner city of Seville allows for a great variety of activities such as memory, leisure and commerce. A highly developed infrastructure helps to activate the square, making it an attractive destination for tourists and locals alike.


The "Metropol Parasol" scheme with its impressive timber structures offers an archaeological museum, a farmers market, an elevated plaza, multiple bars and restaurants underneath and inside the parasols, as well as a panorama terrace on the very top of the parasols. Realized as one of the largest and most innovative bonded timber-constructions with a polyurethane coating, the parasols grow out of the archaeological excavation site into a contemporary landmark, defining a unique relationship between the historical and the contemporary city. "Metropol Parasols" mix-used character initiates a dynamic development for culture and commerce in the heart of Seville and beyond.

Metropol Parasol

ARUP as Engineers

The award-winning design for Metropol Parasol was developed by architect Jürgen Mayer H and Arup.


The project consists of six large timber parasols shading the Plaza de Encarnacion in the centre of Seville and protecting an archaeological site. The timber mega-structure is around 150m long, 75m wide and 28m high.


Arup carried out experimental investigations to reach the best solution and decided to develop the structure in a micro-laminated wood (Kerto). The timber is protected from the elements with a concept developed by the architects based on a waterproof polyurethane coating.


The project´s success was a result of an integrated design team of architects, structural engineers, building services, fire prevention specialists and timber contractors with the courage to embark on an engineering adventure and to face new challenges.


Four-level structure The structure has four intertwined permeable levels. The basement level has a viewing platform over the archaeological artefacts found at the site. The first level is a 2155m² marketplace, and on the second is a square elevated 5m above the market to be used for performances and shows.


On the third floor is a restaurant , and on the fourth level is a public panoramic balcony with stunning views of Seville’s old quarter.


The parasols, constructed in a mushroom-shaped timber lattice, frame the structure. The layout and shape of the parasols create shadows which move continuously throughout the day. The project is a new landmark for the city of Seville.

Metropol Parasol

SACYR as Contractors

Metropol Parasol , known as the Mushrooms of the Incarnation , is the structure of the world's largest wood, has 2 columns of concrete that house elevators to access the veranda and is located in the Plaza de la Encarnacion in Seville , in the autonomous community of Andalusia (Spain). Its dimensions are 150 x 70 meters, a height of 26 meters and was the winning project of the contest opened by Seville City Council to carry out the rehabilitation of the square where it is located. Its designer was the Berlin architect Jürgen Mayer .


Construction began on June 26, 2005 , at an estimated cost of 50 million euros, and are undergoing serious difficulties until 2010. Once eliminate with and having raised the cost of the project was inaugurated on March 27, 2011 .


The first phase of the project started on June 26, 2005 , and its completion was scheduled for June 2007, a period that did not comply. A month before the prestigious company Ove Arup & Partners submitted a technical report informing the Seville consistory " that the construction of the complex structure of the umbrella, as it was conceived was not feasible "because the architect had only realized a basic project that excluded technical testing, so it did not take into account the lack of appropriate technology to carry it out.


The city council works continued until, in February 2010, the press report issued by the group Arup was made, and the Councillor for Presidency and Urbanism admitted that the municipality was aware of its impossibility from that report , and since 2009 he prepared a solution to the problem presented. After modifying the structure of umbrellas replacing the metal timber which contributed to the economic budget increased 25.8 million euros, the works continued and before the end of 2010 had already been executed by 80%.


Finally, on March 27, 2011 the structure was opened by the mayor, Alfredo Sánchez Monteseirín , main supporter of the project, the news had repercussions in international media, including the British newspaper The Guardian .


In January 2013, the space Metropol Parasol was chosen among 335 candidate projects, as one of five finalists of the European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture awarded biannually to the European Union and the Mies Van Der Rohe Foundation.

One of the world’s largest wooden buildings

Metsä Wood as Manufacturers

Among the world’s largest bonded timber constructions, the Metropol Parasol has grown into an impressive contemporary landmark within the Medieval inner city of Seville. A red dot winner, this timber structure is made of 3,400 individual Kerto laminated veneer lumber (LVL) elements and 3,000 load-bearing connection nodes.


Measuring 50 m long, 75 m wide and 28 m high, the glued Kero-Q LVL elements are arranged into an orthogonal grid of 1.5 x 1.5 m. With a excellent strength-to-weight ratio, all of the Kerto wood elements were manufacturer at Metsa Wood’s building component factory in Aichach, Germany.


In order to protect the wooden structure from the elements, it is covered by 2-c-polyurethane.


More from the Manufacturer:


A FEW FACTS Metropol Parasol, one of the largest timber constructions in the world, is built from 3,400 individual wooden elements and 3,000 load-bearing connection nodes.


The wood elements are up to 16.5 metres in length with thicknesses ranging from 68–311 mm.


A WORD FROM THE ARCHITECT Metropol Parasol is Seville’s new iconic project – an attraction that showcases the city as one of Spain’s most fascinating cultural destinations. Metropol Parasol has ‘revitalised’ the Plaza de la Encarnacion to become the new, contemporary urban centre. Its role as a unique urban space within the dense fabric of the medieval inner city of Seville allows for a great variety of activities such as history, leisure and commerce. Its highly developed infrastructure has fashioned the square into an attractive destination for tourists and locals alike. The Metropol Parasol with its large parasol structures offers an archeological museum, a farmers market, an elevated plaza, multiple bars and restaurants both beneath and inside the parasols, as well as a panorama terrace on the very top. The parasols rise from the museum into a contemporary landmark. Its columns are prominent points of access to the museum below as well as to the plaza and panorama deck above, defining a unique relationship between the historical and contemporary city. Metropol Parasols character initiates a dynamic development for culture and commerce in the heart of Seville. METSÄ WOOD Metropol Parasol is approximately 50 m long, 75 m wide and 28 m high. The elements are glued Kerto-Q LVL, which are arranged in an orthogonal grid of 1.5 m x 1.50 m. Only Kerto is able to be used in large and complex structures such as the Metropol Parasol due to its excellent strength-to-weight ratio. Kerto is incredible strong yet light building material.. Over 3,000 different Kerto wood elements were manufactured at Metsä Wood’s building component factory in Aichach, Germany, comprising a total volume of approximately 2,500 m³ of parallel laminated veneer lumber (LVL). The wooden structure is covered by 2-c-polyurethan to protect the elements against the weather. Integral planning and the intense electronic exchange of data between all parties in the planning process were essential elements for the development and construction of Metropol Parasol. The data of the architectural model were directly integrated into the programs of the structural designers, engineers and the construction company. The perfectly coordinated teamwork between Metsä Wood, the architects Jürgen Mayer H. and the engineers of ARUP gave this unique project its extraordinary character. Metropol Parasol was opened in spring 2011.

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