Mushroom Parasols in Seville

In postmodern tales about network cities, the bodies of the protagonists often disappear within the vehicles that they use. Megalopolis spaces are too often built for cars and highways. Seville’s Metropol Parasol is a critique of this postmodern defeat. With this magnificent book, you will walk the Parasol Skywalk at the center of Seville. Now standing completed in Seville, the project by architect J. Mayer has drawn a broad international following as a one of a new generation of urban projects.

For Alfredo Sánchez Monteseirin, the mayor of Seville “Metropol Parasol is a dream come true. It unites the capacity to promote local activity, attract global attention and carry on Seville’s rich cultural and architectural tradition into the future”. During the preparations of the 1992 Universal Exposition in Seville, most of the new construction was carried out outside the old city center. A first project for the Plaza de la Encarnación was to turn this historical square into an underground parking garage to replace a parking lot and bus stop.

In 2003, an open international competition of ideas for redesigning the square was announced. The public was directly involved in the developing and the planning process through a colloquium and exhibition. The proposal by Berlin’s J. Mayer H. architects to erect several-story-high-mushroom-like structures was surprising, courageous and, at the same time, redemptive. It won. The people of Seville as well. They’ve got a new icon.

Metropol Parasol by J. Mayer H. Hatje Cantze, English/Spanish, € 29.80 /

–Henry Montana