Seville | Metropol Parasol Antiquarium

Place: Seville, Country: Spain
Architectural design:
Felipe Palomino Arquitectos -Sevilla
Archaeological consultancy and planning:
Fernando Amores Carredano
Engineering: Germán Palomino González
Text by Federica Lusiardi, Inexhibit
Images and additional text:
Courtesy of Felipe Palomino Arquitectos - Sevilla


The Metropol Parasol with the Antiquarium entrance. (Photo by LW Yang)

The Antiquarium archaeological museum at the Metropol Parasol, Seville

The Antiquarium archaeological museum in Seville is part of the larger Metropol Parasol project, which was aimed to the urban renovation of the Plaza de la Encarnacion square in the Andalusia’s capital.
The area of intervention is located at the crossing between the cardo and the decumanus of the ancient Roman city and for centuries has been the site of an important market since the 1970s when the commercial premises were demolished and the area lost its function.
After few decades, the Seville City Council envisaged an urban redevelopment project for the whole area.
The German architect Jürgen Mayer-Hermann was appointed to design the intervention with its new five storey building which, at its underground level, houses the Antiquarium museum, designed by Felipe Palomino Arquitectos.
The museum were created to allow people visit the outstanding archaeological remains that were found during the early excavations for the realization of the Metropol Parasol.

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The Antiquarium

For Felipe Palomino  “the most important aspect of architecture lies in the the sensations that the spaces it creates produce on people. Space forms and transform us”.
The archaeological remains found during the realization of the Metropol Parasol in Plaza de la Encarnación, located at 5,45 metres below the ground level, have been enclosed in a giant open-space with a floor area of almost 5,000 square metres. The idea behind the project is to modify the sensation visitors usually feel when being inside a basement, several metres underground.
The inspiration came from the sea: the project was conceived so to make people feel like being underwater, to explore a submerged environment where things can be seen only when you approach it closely but that at the same time has no apparent limits.

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Felipe Palomino thus created a sort of “membrane” that wraps the remains, creating a diverse set of different spaces. Such membrane is mostly made of glass panels with different levels of transparency, thus permitting an ideal control over the visibility and the perception of the various areas of the museum and of the archaeological findings and at the same time avoid the creation of rigid and secluding enclosures. Such arrangement also produce a dynamic space, thus following architect’s principle of an architecture primarily based on the creation of a varied set of sensations on persons.

Since the majority of the space simply can’t be illuminated with natural light, two carefully designed artificial lighting system were introduced: one for the new architectural parts, conceived for museum path lighting as well as to create a controlled range of atmospheres, and the other to properly illuminate the archaeological remains, by also helping their preservation.

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 Drawings and photos courtesy of Felipe Palomino Arquitectos.

Museums of archaeology and archaeological sites around the world

Museums of archaeology and archaeological sites around the world

Museums of archaeology and archaeological sites around the world

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