The heft and feel of a well-worn handle,
The sight of shavings that curl from a blade;
The logs in the wood pile, the sentiment of huge beams in an old-fashioned house;
The smell of fresh cut timber and the pungent fragrance of burning leaves;
The crackle of kindling and the hiss of burning logs.
Abundant to all the needs of man, how poor the world would be
Without wood.

Everard Hinrichs, quoted by Eric Sloane in A Reverence for Wood


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Great Designs in Wood (18) - Metropol Parasol

Here's an interesting design in wood that is really out there. You can get the project details and some excellent pictures of the project at this site, which calls the Metropol Parasol the world's largest wooden structure, which it really isn't...but it's notable, anyway, in many respects.

J. Mayer. H.'s Metropol Parasol, Sevilla, Spain from Pedro Kok on Vimeo.

I found some interesting divergence in opinion about the structure in the comments following the pictures and description at the link above. Here are a few samples:

"How amazing! Stunning pictures and a great illustration of how to make a beautiful city even more attractive!"

"So much wood. Why must we destroy our forests for beauty, especially for a great modern building in a cultural focus. This seems quite perverse. It is a fantastic structure otherwise."

"This is the kind of art I hate. They wasted so many trees to build something completely pointless... They should have used all that wood and money to build homes for people in Africa, that would have been a lot more beneficial."

"...The unemployment in Seville is around 23%. The community is still on debts from the Expo they realized in 92, which was also full of beautiful buildings such as this. Hence, the government just thinks about building huge and worthless buildings rather than enhancing the lifestyle of the population, promoting parks, sustainable employment, facilitating taking care systems for the increasing elder population, mitigating the social bad consequences of the crisis, promoting education, etc etc. However, once more, they've let us know how important we are for them and for their megalomaniac projects. So...please, do not bestow uniquely to the building the "artistical value" (although I like its psychedelic shape) and think more if we need it for the social well being right in a period of economic crisis. It's a kind of mockery."

"I do not see any benefit of this structure. First, it does not fit at all in the estetical ambient of the city. Second, the colour is strange and much to clear. Third, it seems that it does no give shadow because it is much too high. Fourth, I am sure that the people of Sevilla would have preferred to spend the money in really important things. It is really a shame how money has been wasted for this ugly and not useful construction."

"I simply love it! It's a fantastic way of combining art with architecture, commerce and culture. Just look at the ugly shopping centers you find world wide..., this one has bars, a museum and a market all together in an aesthetic beautiful building. The world is bad enough with hungry and poor people and a destroyed environment. Let's celebrate that we have culture and new technologies and we can create a better world! Be happy!"

Well, it is somewhat understandable that some of the citizens of Spain are upset by what they perceive as a waste of public resources. Hopefully, the economy will turn around for them and ten years from now they'll be proud of the structure.

Here's a rare chance for you to weigh in. Take the Go Wood poll at the right >>>>

What do you think?

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