Seeing and walking the Metropol Parasol was one of my favorite experiences in Seville, Spain this summer. I’d been excited to see the world’s largest wooden structure in person and it didn’t disappoint. The moment I stepped onto La Encarnación square I was captivated by the undulating wooden structure that soared overhead. Metropol Parasol was designed by German architect Jürgen Mayer and is known locally as ‘Las Setas’, which means giant mushrooms — the name coming from the six parasols shaped like mushrooms that make up the structure. I was interested to learn how the design was inspired by the vaults of the Cathedral of Seville and the ficus trees situated in Plaza de Cristo de Burgos.
Mayer’s design of Las Setas brings much needed shade to the square — shade I was very grateful for as the temperatures were 45°C / 113°F during my visit! As well as the shade the six ‘mushrooms’ bring to the square below, there’s also an opportunity to walk across the top of some of the structure. I’m not the biggest fan of heights (read: sweaty palms just thinking about anything higher than the second floor of a building!), but I genuinely enjoyed wondering the walkways up top of the Metropol Parasol. I think because the walkways are somewhat ‘submerged’ in the top of the mushrooms, which themselves are undulating, makes you feel somewhat cocooned by the structure. I was glad for this because it meant I could appreciate the stunning views of Seville. It was also a beautiful building to photograph. I think my favorite shot I took of it is below (left) — I love how the structure elegantly curves around the ficus tree. It’s almost as if it’s hugging the tree, which is the feeling I had from the building as I walked both under and over it, too. Highly recommend checking out Las Setas if you visit Seville!
AUTHOR: Will Taylor