The Metropol Parasol has a cultural purpose as well as a commercial one. It is an archaeological site – a number of years ago Roman houses were discovered where it now stands and the parasol serves as a cover for these interesting relics of the ancient world. In fact the presence of these ruins dictated the architecture – to an extent at least. There is also a farmer’s market, a plaza and a number of bars and restaurants which will, it is hoped, serve as a new tourist destination in Sevilla. The structure is on four levels and is the largest ever wooden construction in the world. For the architect, Jürgen Mayer H (yes, he placed his middle initial after his last name for some reason) the building presented him with his greatest professional challenge to date as the wood would only support the building through the use of powerful (and expensive) modeling software.