Fomento de Construcciones y Contratas, FCC, the Spain-based infrastructure and environmental services company, has won the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2010 for its construction of the Porta Fira Hotel in Barcelona. The building was chosen from over 300 skyscrapers around the world.
The Emporis Award for the Best New Skyscraper is one of the world's most renowned prizes for high-rise architecture with a jury made up of architecture experts from 67 countries. Previous winners include Norman Foster’s 30 St Mary Axe (‘The Gherkin’) in London and Santiago Calatrava’s Turning Torso in Malmö, Sweden.
According to the jury, Porta Fira tower was chosen for its aesthetic beauty and urban integration. Dubai’s Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper, came second place in this year's awards. In third place was CMA CGM Tower, a 147m tall skyscraper in Marseille, France.
Hotel Porta Fira was designed by the Japanese architecture firm Toyo Ito & Associates and the Spanish firm b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos. The 26-floor hotel tower is 113m-high and is located in one of Barcelona's busiest areas. Porta Fira belongs to the Hoteles Santos chain, which also owns several other landmark hotels.
According to Fermín Vázquez, the greatest challenge in designing the tower was its shape. The unique façade is made up of aluminium tubular structures that run vertically around the entire exterior, from the ground to the crown. The hotel is visible from a distance due to its striking red colour and its tube-like structure widens as it rises. b720 Arquitectos also designed the Agbar Tower in Barcelona, which came second in the Emporis Skyscraper Awards in 2004.
In addition to the Porta Fira Hotel, another FCC project was ranked in this year's Emporis Skyscraper Awards. FCC’s Diagonal ZeroZero Tower in Barcelona took ninth place. The tower, which was designed by EMBA (Estudi Massip-Bosch Arquitectes), is home to Telefónica's headquarters in Barcelona. This 25-storey diamond-shaped skyscraper is 110 metres tall and has received several other awards including the Quatrium Prize for architecture in 2010.