The structure is made of interlocking pieces of wood held together mostly with glue and with metal clamps. Costing an estimated 130 million Euros and built over the course of five years, the structure is designed as an urban icon to draw attention to Seville, and reclaim an underutilized urban area. Restaurants and shops are embedded in the towers and below the canopy. A view walkway crowns the top. Architect Mayer designed it as an entry in a competition in 2004. Mayer describes it:
The Metropol Parasol scheme with its impressive timber structures offers an archaeological museum, a farmers market, an elevated plaza, multiple bars and restaurants underneath and inside the parasols, as well as a panorama terrace on the very top of the parasols. Realized as one of the largest and most innovative bonded timber-constructions with a polyurethane coating, the parasols grow out of the archaeological excavation site into a contemporary landmark, defining a unique relationship between the historical and the contemporary city.