Courtesy: David Franck

The formerly despised work is now a central part of the city's urban fabric.

Last April, J. MAYER H. and Arup’s massive urban experiment Metropol Parasol took shape in Seville, Spain, spreading its immense shade over Seville’s old central market. With its six massive timber parasols and sprawling, honeycombed mushroom cap, the project was an easy target for conservative locals, who criticized the design for being too modern. The galactic form seemed to disregard any notion of site specificity, engulfing the center of Seville with sculptural self-indulgence.

Almost a year later, sentiments have changed, to say the least. What was once considered invasive architecture is now a vital part of the urban fabric. Metropol Parasol is a shining success story about public space: the central market is now a thriving destination, as locals and foreigners alike are flocking to the plaza, and the contemporary agora has even become a gathering place for grassroots protest movements. As one interviewee put it, many skeptics of the project have since come around and grown to love the structure. No longer concerned with preserving the traditional past, they "realized this would be something for the future."

This post originally appeared on Architizer, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Videos

    5 Ways to Seriously Battle Traffic

    So long as cars are among us, road pricing, ramp meters, diamond-shaped intersections can mitigate horrendous commutes, a new video explains.

  2. Tomatoes, scallions, asparagus, and other vegetables spread out on a table
    Life

    For Peak Happiness, Spend Money to Save Time

    A study suggests time-saving services like meal delivery and housekeepers boost life satisfaction—for the purchaser, of course.

  3. Transportation

    Why Are Manhattan's Streets Getting Slower?

    The average speed of traffic has been falling for years, and it’s having a ripple effect on the city’s transit network.

  4. A Syrian refugee holds her child as she begs on the streets of Beirut.
    Life

    The Social Ties Urban Refugees Need

    To make a good life in a new city, recent research stresses that refugees must connect with those outside their national or ethnic group.

  5. Equity

    Why Some Women Don't Actually Have Privacy Rights

    A law professor explores the reasons why women who need government assistance are forced to divulge intimate details of their lives.