In 1973, the last remains of the old market in the center of Seville was torn down, and the space it occupied remained empty for almost 20 years, until city decided to build a new market in the spot with underground parking beneath. In the midst of their construction, though, Roman and pre-Roman ruins were discovered on the spot, and construction was halted to preserve the spot. After almost 14 years, the city solicited bids for a project to occupy the space, and mushroom parasol design by German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann was chosen.
In a twist that Seattleites may appreciate, after two years, the responsible architecture firm “informed the municipal authorities that the structure was technically infeasible as designed, given that a number of structural assumptions had not been tested and appeared to violate the limitations of known materials.”*
After another half decade of design and material changes, as well as an extra 50 million euros, the Metropol Parasol was completed.
For all their pain, it’s a beautiful gem in the midst of the ancient city, and walking up top made for a nice diversion for us for the day.