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Metropol Parasol

J. Mayer H. Architects

Seville’s iconic “Metropol Parasol” project confirms the city’s standing as one of Spain’s major cultural destinations. Its site, Plaza de la Encarnacion, is set to become Seville’s new urban hub, a unique space enclosed by a dense medieval urban fabric and offering a wide variety of activities for tourists and local inhabitants. The programme includes an underground archaeological site and museum, an elevated plaza with, at one end, a farmers’ market and, in other sections, a series of bars, restaurants and other environments for socialisation, all shielded by striking parasol structures also containing a panoramic terrace on the very top.
Placed in the heart of the old town, the new infrastructure stands as a wholly appropriate 21st century landmark. Providing shade during the day and shelter at night, the parasols bring together cultural activities (the museum and archaeological site) with the everyday business of a bustling city (a farmers’ market recalling the city’s close links to its agricultural hinterland).
The floorplan under the parasols is arranged so that the stalls can be closed at night when the square comes alive with people enjoying leisure activities, shows and live entertainment amidst the bars and restaurants on the ground floor and upper levels of the parasols. The elevated plaza becomes a central stage on which a host of activities are played out day and night against the backdrop of a vibrant 24-hour urban setting.
Built in polyurethane-coated timber, the parasols are contemporary landmarks firmly and symbolically grounded in an ancient site. The imposing columns are the points of access to the underground museum as well as the upper platforms. Here the architectural proposal doubles the original area to create an additional 4500 sq m of high-quality programmable space.
Apertures on the upper platform create a visual connection with the area below while water basins in selected areas further enhance the microclimate...

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