In Progress: Metropol Parasol / Jürgen Mayer Architects

© Pedro Pegenaute
© Pedro Pegenaute

The Metropol Parasol in Sevilla, Spain, is the result of a competition in 2004, awarded to Jürgen Mayer Architects.


The sinuous structure is proposed to be a landmark in the middle of the old city fabric, while serving as an observation deck to discover the upper level of the compact urban context, a new view of the city. The project has been criticized by the citizens because of the contrast with the existing constructions, as you can see on the renderings.

Architecture photographer Pedro Pegenaute shared with us some photos of the current status of this impressive structure, from which we can see a preview of what the observation deck will be:

© Pedro Pegenaute
© Pedro Pegenaute
© Pedro Pegenaute
© Pedro Pegenaute
Cite: Basulto, David. "In Progress: Metropol Parasol / Jürgen Mayer Architects" 18 Jan 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 27 May 2015. <>
  • Dustin

    Why would somebody build that?

    • FERRAN10


      • ghassan

        i respect their courage.

  • FERRAN10


    • Clotaire Rapaille

      Thank God it’s not !

  • rupertKensington

    what happened to the skin wrapping the forms in the initial designs? the waffle system makes it look like a chipboard model. pretty crucial compromise i think.

    • Clotaire Rapaille

      Wait wait wait :-)

      These are construction pictures. The timber wrapping will come.
      Give it some few months, and the final result will be exactly like a render, which is one of the strenghts of J Mayer H, in my opinion !

  • lisa

    2004 we were just children then…

  • Pohl

    MetroPol not MetroSol
    The most anticipated piece of modern architecture of the decade ;-)
    I love this! Futuristic, beautiful and strange. This is completely refreshing in a time dominated by impostors of the parametrismus era !

  • raphael k.


    (ce n’est pas parce qu’on peut faire n’importe quoi avec les techniques modernes qu’il faut forcément le faire..)

  • archi

    Hey Ma! Look what I did on my computer!

    This is the worst of the “internationalist” style reincarnated as “fashionable” computer blobs. It looks like they couldn’t even progress the design past the CNC model.

  • Michael

    I didn’t think much of the scheme when it was announced, but I am even more disappointed now it’s being built.
    The only thing appealing about the original scheme was its novel ribbed structure.
    But now it appears like a conventional construction system dressed up to look like something more complicated.
    Although to be honest, I don’t understand why there appears to be two different techniques on site. In the first photo on the RHS, the structure appears to be as per the original design intent. The left hand towers however, appear to be a typical concrete core with steel struts. Perhaps they gave up and opted for a cheaper/easier methodology?
    Anyway, Sevilla is a lovely little city and it’s a shame they fell for this kind of rubbish.
    Give me Chipperfield, Siza or Souto de Moura any day…..

    • Pohl

      of course they kept the ribbed structure. You can see that they started building the “trunks” of a few Parasols. Everything will be planned and will look like the renderings. Take a look at their other works and you will see that they always are building what they render. Wait and see and don’t be so critical…

  • Bob Borrowmeane

    Was that ribbed structure truly novel, even way back in 2004, Michael? And you’re truly saddened at the fact that more conventional construction systems were employed? Is that like learning Santa Claus is only your dad in a red suit?
    Chipperfield, Siza and Souto de Mora are all major players and surely appreciate your namedrop.

  • Michael

    @Bob Borrowmeane
    Not sure what you’re saying. You are clearly a fan of this project who doesn’t like criticism.
    1 – Yes, I am disappointed that the idea of a ribbed structure to create an organic form appears to have been dropped.
    2 – No, it is not like learning Santa Claus was Dad. I am an adult and this is architecture, not fantasy.
    3 – Namedropping refers to the act of mentioning others to improve one’s social standing. I daresay everyone on this forum has heard those names, so it’s not really that impressive. What I was attempting to convey was that a conservative approach may have yielded more impressive results than this crazy structural feat (which wasn’t even followed through).

    • Clotaire Rapaille

      Hey ! Michael !

      The conceptual design is NOT dropped. The ribbed structure is NOT dropped. Of course not.

      But you know, when you build something, usually, there is an under layer of ‘structures’. Sometimes it’s steel. Sometimes it’s concrete. Here it’s both.

      The timber will soon appear on the site, and it will serve (both aesthetically and structurally) to cover the underlying structure, and to support some of the long spans between other of the cruthces. The part that you see here elevated seems to be the coffee shop, which needed more structure than the rest of the ‘observation deck’.

      Those are construction pictures, the final result will be sharp like you see it on renders.

      It will be a masterpiece, functionally, aesthetically and socially. Can’t wait.

  • Modern Zen Architecture

    Hmmm. Opposing opinions is a sign of flattery… At first glance, I liked it. The more time I spent thinking about, the less I liked it. Better stop now, before I really hate it…

  • Nicholas Patten

    In Progress: Metrosol Parasol.

  • Bob Borrowmeane

    Michael – I’ve been in contact with several members of this site and the discussion boards regarding the tone of your commentary. We respectfully ask that you –
    1!. refrain from the use of aggressive bullet points
    2!. refrain from use of the word “daresay” (henceforth)

  • Michael

    I know it will look like the renderings in the end. What bugs me is that the underlying structural system is different. ie. It is not really a building made of structural ribs. It is a building made of anything, then clad to look like a series of structural ribs. Personally, I find this unsatisfactory.

    @Bob Borrowmeane
    You don’t seem to be able to discuss the project at all. You just want to trade insults. Not interested. Goodbye.

    • Pohl

      You are not entirely correct. For sure, in order to carry big loads for the elevators and the panoramic slab, a simple wooden structure is not enough. But for the rest, as I believe, the wooden ribbed structure does truly support the remaining parasols. Anyway I am very excited about seeing this thing constructed… and as I heard once, this is going to be the biggest wooden structure in the world with some newly developed technique with reinforced wood and special coating. I agree it might schock some people.. but you have to know that the project was approved by the people in Sevilla in an open forum during the initial international competition. thumbs up for choosing something daring, the thumbs up for the technical performance and thumbs up for the beautiful curves.

  • Michael

    You just said I am ‘not entirely correct’, then confirmed exactly what I said. I think that makes me correct…

    Personally I don’t find the building shocking or interesting, I just think it’s a big fat fake.

    And I can’t wait to see how the timber survives a few seasons in Sevilla!!! Freezing / Boiling / Freezing / Boiling

    Poetic justice?

  • Trishawn Maphoussy, AIA

    Ok guys. Let’s calm down and leave Michael alone. Although his critical judgement is in question, he seems like a nice enough fellow and is entitled to an unpopular opinion.
    Michael, I’m on your side against these uncouth heathens!

  • Trishawn Maphoussy, AIA

    Oh Michael… just read your previous comment and I take back what I said. I thought perhaps you possessed a misunderstood genius but now I see you’re saying that the wood will suffer in Sevilla’s freezing temps. From what I gather, that is horribly uninformed and your argument fails. …”In the winter the temperature will almost never break the freezing mark and so things are relatively mild..”
    Again, please disregard my previous post. You deserve the wrath of the gods.

  • Bob Borrowmeane


  • Michael

    Time will tell, but I know of many projects who have used new-fangled timber composite products that have failed.
    I lived in Sevilla for 7 years and I can tell you that it does freeze and in summer it can reach 50 degrees Celcius.
    As a practitioner of over 20 years, I would not risk my reputation by using a new timber product in this kind of extreme environment. I think it is a huge risk but hey, it’s not my insurance on the line.

  • Trishawn Maphoussy, AIA

    Ok Michael I’m back on your side. The Architect’s probably forgot to consider how their most prominent building material would hold up over time.

  • Bruce

    Sorry everyone, but i agree with Michael.
    And why does everyone have to say patronising stuff just because someone thinks differently to them?

  • Pohl

    hehe funny discussion going on here. yes it does freeze in sevilla, and yes it does get up to 50 degrees in the summer… but I would guess there is a bunch of good professionals involved in the construction process and design and “somebody” probably thought about the longevity and quality of the coating. It’s like saying “hey that thing will never hold itself when there is a storm). Any construction gets tested and evaluated through all different kinds of scenarios and conditions. Our comments are becoming speculative and let’s just see what happens. Am I the only one liking it here? ;-)

  • Yolanda

    Michael and Bruce.. I don’t care if you guys are wrong about this. or right about it,, I guess. Let’s join together and keep mean people from ganging up on us!!!!!

  • Axel

    Finally somebody builds the early days of renderings…
    … so we can really seee what everybody was excited about 10, 15 years ago…

    (.. but digi-blob times had passed for a while I thought…)

  • brother boy

    anybody know the material?

  • Michael

    From what I gather it’s made of shiznit.