Architect: César Pelli. Location: Bilbao. Year of construction: 2012. Height: 165 meters.
This tower rises next to the Nervión River and is part of the development of the Abandoibarra area, a cultural and business center and symbol of Bilbao's transformation. In its conception, the project sought value around two key factors: the definition of a measured formal and aesthetic singularity, and the technological achievement that guaranteed a highly sustainable building, which, in this case, made a LEED Platinum certificate building. Its triangular shape derives from the slight inclination of the three segments of a cylinder. In plan you can see how the rear profile is shorter than those located on the sides, which form a kind of bow that points to Elcano Avenue. The gesture is emphasized by the sculptural treatment in glass and steel of the base. In the body of the building, a wide diversity of sustainability strategies was applied: concrete from an old railway depot and fly ash; a continuous cycle of water at 30ºC flows through the entire structure to adjust the interior temperature, depending on the season and time of day; double glazing on the surface of the facade of high efficiency …
Architects: Carlos Rubio Carvajal and Enrique Álvarez-Sala Walther. Location: Madrid. Year of construction: 2008. Height: 236 meters.
The building, the third tallest in Spain, was designed based on an analysis of rigorous geometries that allowed it to accommodate different uses and provide it with the necessary flexibility to guarantee a long useful life. The project was configured by stacking different uses and environments: a congress center, a hotel – which occupies the lower two thirds – and different floors for offices. The orders of main geometries, generated from an equilateral triangle and three tangent circles, allowed to optimize the length of the façade for the built surface of each floor. Its three vertical folds provide slenderness to the volume, as well as facilitate the penetration of light and natural ventilation in its core. The set is surrounded by a double skin formed by glass and aluminum flakes, creating a unified surface that emphasizes the scale in height of the building, raised with a firm but contained will of singularity.
It is the only one of the Cuatro Torres designed by a Spanish architect.
Architect: César Pelli. Location: Seville. Year of construction: 2015. Height: 180.50 meters.
The vicissitudes traversed by the construction of the Pelli towers in Spain are a matter to narrate the chronicle of the economic bubble. The history of Torre Sevilla would offer the most paradigmatic episode: big failed economic ventures, misunderstandings and political confrontations, and an endless number of administrative complications delayed the putting into use of this building, conceived to be a commercial center and that ended up being destined to be the headquarters of offices and hotel. The 37-storey building was proposed as a contemporary icon of the city, in dialogue with La Giralda, with a simple and pure geometry. The volume is thinning its diameter as it rises, with an elliptical shape that seeks to cause the least impact on the neighboring historic center. The most important factor of the project, besides the care in introducing sustainability strategies, is its concern in creating around its base a pedestrian zone that allows diverse commercial and recreational uses. The design of this square seeks continuity with the façade, incorporating architectural elements that lighten the effect of the frequent high temperatures in the city.
Architect: Jean Nouvel. Location: Barcelona. Year of construction: 2005. Height: 145 meters.
Nouvel contributed with this building to the apogee of show architecture in Spain. I chose to define it not as a tower or skyscraper, in the "American" sense, but it gave it an organic category to link it poetically with water, given that the property was going to be the administrative headquarters of Aigües de Barcelona. According to him, its shape and height evoked the power of a geyser; its facade wanted to suggest the delicate and resplendent surface of the water. He claimed that he also alluded to solid local icons, such as the Montserrat massif and the towers of Gaudí's Sagrada Familia. Mainly built with concrete, aluminum and glass, it measures 145 meters, which places it a few compared to the other two tallest buildings in the city: the Hotel Arts and the Torre Mapfre. His role was to signal the entrance to the 22 @ technology district. Later swings led him to be acquired by the Hyatt hotel chain to convert it into a luxury hotel. It is currently owned by an investment company. He keeps a suspicious resemblance to his contemporary Londoner Gherkin, of Norman Foster.
Architect: César Pelli. Location: Madrid. # Year of construction: 2009. Height: 249.60 meters.
With a height of almost 250 meters, which should give full prominence within the business park Cuatro Torres Business Area, Pelli raised this building as an angled sculpture, in the manner of a flagpole, where the reflection of the sky on its glazed surface gives expression and dynamism to the structure. The winter garden located at the top, illuminated at night and visible along the Paseo de la Castellana, is understood as an essential aesthetic detail with which the attention is expressed to ensure the sustainability of the tower through the application of materials and highly technological building systems that control the levels of lighting, ventilation, air conditioning and heating through a central computer, or the installation of photovoltaic panels on the roof. The interior dimensions were also planned to ensure that all work spaces receive natural light and optimal comfort conditions. The Argentine César Pelli has become a specialist in skyscrapers. His studio has extensive experience in the field.
Hotel Sky Barcelona
Architects: Dominique Perrault – AIA Salazar-Navarro. Location: Barcelona. Year of construction: 2007. Height: 120 meters.
The tower concept proposed by Perrault here emerges as a reading of the nature of Barcelona, integrating in it the two dimensions that make up the identity of the city: on the one hand, the horizontality of the urban mesh defined by the Cerdà Plan, and, on the other, the verticality imposed by the structure of the Sagrada Familia and Mount Tibidabo. The building poses a game between two volumes: a cube that serves as a counterpoint to the back, while a 120-meter tower, a rectangular parallelepiped cut along, divides two horizontally retracted parts. This breaking of a perfect geometric block creates movement. The overhang at 20 meters high that it generates serves as an entrance sign to the Diagonal and is the hallmark of the hotel. The later volume welcomes its common parts, while the wide and deep tower houses the rooms and provides a wide view over the city. The facade is covered by opaque panels that give expressiveness, making the building a kind of large screen that looks at the city and its landscape.