Toyo Ito & Associates and b720 Fermin Vazquez Arquitectos collaborated to create "the best skyscraper in the world." The Hotel Santos Porta Fira in Barcelona earned the prestigious designation when it won the Emporis Skyscraper Award 2010.
Sometimes it is what’s on the outside that counts, and that’s just the case with the Hotel Santos Porta Fira. The Barcelona, Spain, skyline received a burst of fiery red coloring with the addition of the towering skyscraper. The 369.78' spiraling masterpiece features 26 floors, 320 rooms, and luxury amenities and services, such as an on-site health club and massage center. The hotel also offers nine large, state-of-the-art meeting rooms equipped with the latest technology and a plenary room. The hotel has a meeting capacity of 1,357 and the largest meeting room can accommodate 740 occupants.
Since it opened in February 2010, travelers from around the world have flocked to the Hotel Santos Porta Fira for the overall ambience of the hotel, but it’s the hotel’s breathtaking exterior design that has created an international buzz.
Renowned architect Toyo Ito of Toyo Ito & Associates and b720 Fermín Vázquez Arquitectos designed the hotel in a deconstructivist architectural style and it features a concrete structure with an aluminum façade. These materials were used to create a unique “double skin” design. The inner layer of the hotel’s skin is constructed out of stainless steel sandwich panels, and the outer layer of skin is constructed out of aluminum tubes coated with a metallic resin paint. The red tubes are the designers’ abstract interpretation of a lotus flower. Just as a lotus flower twists through mud to reveal a beautiful flower, the hotel extends upward toward the sky as the red tubes, or leaves, wrap the building. While the building’s exterior design is captivating, its interior design cannot be ignored. The hotel’s sleek, modern, monochromatic interior design perfectly complements the exterior, creating a visual experience like no other.
Due to its exploration of color and design, the hotel received the 2010 Emporis Skyscraper architecture award for “The Best Skyscraper in the World,” according to the Emporis Award Web site. The Hotel Santos Porta Fira was selected to receive the award from a pool of more than 300 buildings that were constructed during the award year and of 17 nominated buildings.
Constructed by FCC Construcción, the Hotel Santos Porta Fira is located in one of Barcelona’s popular business development areas, L’Hospitalet, which is also home to the El Prat International Airport and Fira 2 International Fairgrounds. The Hotel Santos Porta Fira stands adjacent to a bright red office tower, Torre Realia BCN, which is rectangular in shape. The similar colors and contrasting shapes of the buildings creates a unique sense of harmony for the development area. The project is part of the city’s urban regeneration project.
Construction began on the Hotel Santos Porta Fira in May 2006 and was completed in January 2010.
J. Mariah Brown is a technical research writer and the owner of Writings by Design, a comprehensive business writing service company that specializes in business development, promotion, and client outreach. She has worked in a variety of technical and non-technical industries including, but not limited to, Government, Non-Profit, Engineering, Translation and Interpretation, Christian and Women’s Publications, and Fashion and Beauty. She is a graduate of the prestigious E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University and is currently pursuing a master's degree from Gonzaga University in Communication and Organizational Leadership.