When Jürgen Mayer-Hermann designed and began constructing the Metropol Parasol, there was a near-uprising from locals in Sevilla. Erected in the Old Quarter of Sevilla amidst historic and beautiful buildings, a gigantic, modern interpretation of wooden mushrooms didn't quite seem to fit. Despite the initial uproar, citizens and visitors of Sevilla have come to embrace the wooden landmark.
At a staggering size of 150 by 70 metres and 26 metres high, the Parasol dominates the landscape around the city center. Made entirely out of wood, it is the world's largest wooden structure. Created out of 8,000 timber pieces and connected with steel and glue, the structure is an architectural nightmare that yielded a magnificent and dreamlike result. The entire complex was finally opened in April 2011 and cost a whopping $130 million USD.
Given its size, the Parasol, also referred to as Encarnacion's Mushrooms, serves a variety of purposes. The basement floor houses a museum of ancient Roman and Moorish artifacts and the ground floor hosts a lively Central Market. Along with the pleasures of food and history below the wooden mushrooms, the truly amazing levels of the structure are the terraces high above the ground. The terraced walkways on the 2nd and 3rd levels of the structure offer stunning views of the city and the ability to walk eye level along the ancient buildings of the Old Quarter.