Metropol Parasol

  • Six large timber parasols shading the Plaza de Encarnacion in Seville, Spain.
  • A network of timber beams forming one of the largest timber structures ever built.
  • More than 3,000 connection nodes at the intersections of timber elements.

+ Watch the Metropol Parasol film 

The Metropol Parasol is both a new landmark for the city of Seville and an engineering adventure – one of the largest timber structures ever built. We worked with architect Jürgen Mayer H to develop its award-winning design.

The project consists of six large timber parasols shading the Plaza de Encarnación and protecting an archaeological site. The parasols, constructed in a mushroom-shaped timber lattice, frame the structure and create shadows that move continuously throughout the day.

Four-level structure

The structure has four intertwined permeable levels: a basement with a platform to view the archaeology, a 2,155m² marketplace with a raised square for performances and shows, a restaurant, and a public balcony with panoramic views of Seville’s old quarter.

To create this unique structure, we decided, after experimental investigations, to use a micro-laminated wood called Kerto. Consisting of 3mm thick veneers glued together, it offers much higher shear strength than solid wood. The timber is protected from the elements with a waterproof polyurethane coating.

Vital connection nodes

Crucial to the behaviour of the Metropol Parasol are the 3,000 connection nodes at the intersections of the timber elements. Together with FFM, we developed an innovative connection detail based on glued-in steel bars optimised for rapid erection on site.

After a thermal analysis revealed that the hot climate would be a particular challenge for the connection detail, we had to develop a bonding process especially for this project.
Detail adjustments and pre-assembly of the connection elements were carried out in Germany before the 3,000 elements were sent by truck to southern Spain.

The project´s success was the result of an integrated design team of architects, structural engineers, building services, fire prevention specialists and timber contractors with the courage to face new challenges.

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Design book 2013 front cover
  • Metropol Parasol. Credit: Hufton + Crow.Play video

    One of the largest timber structures ever built, this video looks at how Parasol has had a positive impact on the local residents.

  • Metropol Parasol. Credit: Hufton + Crow.Open gallery

    The timber mega-structure is about 150 m long, 75m wide and 28m high.