The striking Metropol Parasol in Seville by German architect J. Mayer H. has been described variously as an “icon” or “landmark” without an explanation as to what it actually is: a multiuse piece of architecture that incorporates an archaeological museum, a farmers’ market, multiple bars and restaurants, as well as a panorama terrace on its roof. Designed to make the centrally located Plaza de la Encarnacion a more attractive area and promote local business, the impressive timber “parasols” do just that, while also providing much needed shade and some of the best views of the city. It’s a feat of engineering that required the help of Arup and state-of-the-art design software to precisely imagine the fluid contours that fill the public square. And in a fusion of high-low technologies, the mostly wooden building is held together by glue – the largest structure in the world to do so. While the wow-factor and pioneering construction are impressive, the Metropol Parasol has been an immediate hit with the local community, making this a lesson in the power of urban architecture today.