Porta Fira in Barcelona is the world's best skyscraper
The winner of the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2010 is Hotel Porta Fira in Barcelona and was chosen from over 300 competing skyscrapers around the world and announced on 26 July 2011.
The winner Porta Fira contorts to a height of 113 meters, with 26 floors, on the outskirts of Barcelona in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat. The two architecture companies, Toyo Ito & Associates and b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos, conceptualised the surreal structure. “The biggest challenge of the skyscraper is its organic design. The façade of red aluminium tubes form continuous lines enclosing the complex geometry of the building, which twists and increases in size as it rises,” states architect Fermín Vázquez.
Porta Fira with its fascinating visual appearance, beat the world’s highest structure Burj Khalifa in Dubai, into second place. The jury valued the building’s aesthetics and integration into its urban environment over humankind’s fascination with building the tallest structure.
The runner-up Burj Khalifa towers over Dubai at 828 meters with 163 floors were especially heralded for its technical achievements.. The world icon designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill surpasses the world’s second highest skyscraper, Taipei 101, by an impressive 319 meters.
Third place winner Tour CMA CGM reaches a height of 143 meters with 33 floors. The elegant glass tower is nestled near the historic harbour of Marseilles, was recognised as a symbol of modernity, and is situated a mere 500 km from the winner.
In 2010 buildings from southern Europe dominated the top three of the Emporis Skyscraper Awards. Places four to ten, however, were occupied by nominees from all over the world – from Bangkok, to Moscow, to New York. “This year, the nominations show a great deal of regional persity even though the Mediterranean coast dominated the top of the voting,” commented Matthew Keutenius, architecture expert at Emporis and director of the Skyscraper Award.
The Emporis Skyscraper Award is the only prize for high-rise architecture awarded annually and on a global basis. An expert committee annually presents this award to an exceptional building at least 100 meters tall completed within the award year. Nominees and winners are chosen from Emporis' database by Emporis editors, who are building and architecture experts from all over the world. Essential information on the buildings, as well as images, is available to the public on Emporis.com.
The award has been given since 2000 to recognize excellence in both aesthetic and functional design. Previous winners include Kingdom Centre (Riyadh), 30 St Mary Axe (London), Turning Torso (Malmö), Hearst Tower (New York City), Cocoon Tower (Tokyo) and Aqua (Chicago).