Diane Pham

VIDEO: Inhabitat Interviews Metropol Parasol Architect Juergen Mayer H.

by , 02/11/14
filed under: Architecture, Interviews, Video

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Inhabitat: It seems that you have an organic quality and also a mathematical pattern thing going on with a lot of your work – certainly the Metropol Parasol …

Juergen Mayer: The digital world, of course, factors into our approach, it shapes how we design things and how we understand our built environment. For this project, using contemporary software was part of the production process, not just the design process — it really is a guiding force. However, what we are really interested in is what does this information and technology do to our built environments?

I have this obsession with the data protection patterns you find on the inside of envelopes, for example. This is exactly the way we control access to personal information, or camouflage or blur personal information from a public; a neutral face. These forms of control and access, of enveloping space, enveloping a certain kind of environment, this is interesting for us.

Metropol Parasol, J mayer h, jurgen mayer, jurgen mayer h, juergen mayer h, Juergen Mayer, j mayer h architects, the world's largest wooden structure, wooden structures, wood buildings, wood architecture, german architects, german architecture, Spanish architecture, spain architecture, Jill Fehrenbacher, inhabitat interviews, inhabitat video, inhabitat video interview, sustainable architecture, green architecture, iconic architecture, modern icons in architecture, Erich Mendelsohn, modern architecture, museums, green museums, spain musuems, seville tourist destinations, seville tourist sites, roman ruins, roman ruins museums, digital modeling technology, architecture modeling technology, Seville Cathedral, Post-modernism, Deconstructivism

Inhabitat: Are you concerned with sustainability in your designs?

Juergen Mayer: Sustainability is one of the most important issues in architecture; building design has to work on a functional level, it has to work on a sustainability level, it also has to work on an aesthetic level, so I think it is one of the many parameters that helps us define our environment. We like to approach it with a more complex definition than what people normally understand as “sustainability”.

The interesting part of sustainability for us – besides trying to be “good” and do the right thing – is that it moves the attention of architecture again back to the future. Post-modernism and Deconstructivism were always so concerned with referencing the past, or anchoring a building in some sort of tradition. Sustainability flips this focus back to the future and creates a certain hope and idealism for a better future. Architecture is always about a better future, otherwise nobody would invest in it or care about it, right?

Video by Jonathan Wing

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6 Comments

  1. joeyrobots February 11, 2014 at 10:36 am

    I recently visited and I have to say I was surprised. I didn’t realize that the parasol covers a one story building. To walk under the parasol you have to climb the stairs to the top of the building, where you are met with a vast empty concourse . I guess I expected the plaza to be typical of Spain, a lively public space with cafe tables and people enjoying caña in the shade, but it was absolutely dead. Unfortunately the dearth of street life really detracted from the work for me. Instead of feeling celebratory it felt like another failure among the Spanish governments insane development schemes. I know the architect can’t always control the program, but really this was disappointing. We walked down to the Alcazar and Plaza de Espana where people actually want to be. Colorwise too it seems like a cheery light wood in photos, but up close its just sort of a nasty flat beige, like the color of ugly pants.

  2. architexture August 8, 2011 at 6:30 pm

    Beautiful structure! It reminds me of a chair I saw at the Salone de mobile in 2002. http://mark-naden.com/?category=15#513

  3. emily @ EcoSalon August 7, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    I live in Seville, right down the street from “the mushroom” as it is popularly called, and one question I’ve always had is about the choice of wood. The summer heat is sweltering, as such even in the construction of houses very little wood is used. Rarely will you even see hardwood floors because of morphing and concerns about insulation in the summer heat. Instead, marble or tile is far more typical.

    While the structure is amazing, I wonder if it’s better suited to the climate of Germany than Andalucia.

  4. Wilko August 5, 2011 at 8:39 am

    Dear Jeff, this is Wilko from J.MAYER H.
    To your question: Yes the timber-construction is covered with sparyed on polyurethane for protection.

  5. jeffbarrettdesign August 5, 2011 at 3:01 am

    Now this I have to see. Jurgen we must have been channeling each other a few years back. Check our your sister project:

    http://www.cca.edu/academics/architecture/gallery/9800

    Cool thing is yours got built.
    Nice work
    Oh, I wonder what type of UV coating is on this? Polyurethane?

    Cheers
    Jeff
    http://www.jeffbarrettdesign.com (Home Green)

  6. Yuka Yoneda Yuka Yoneda July 29, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I didn’t know you can walk on top of it. Incredible!

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