elii [oficina de arquitectura]



The Electric Community

Two Apartments. Historic District. Zaragoza


* Selected work for the Arquia Próxima Award Interior Design and Refurbishment. Arquia Foundation, Caja de Arquitectos, 2012

Two Apartments. Historic District. Zaragoza

The project is constituted by two complete houses, joined by a common area. It also allows to eliminate the division between the two studios and connect them as a single, conventional house.

In order to gain the largest amount of space for the houses and minimize the execution costs, the activity is centred on the central area where the kitchens, bathrooms, storage, access and distribution elements are found. In this way, the main space of each house is freed and the area of intervention is reduced. A laundry area common to both houses is also placed in the common area.

There are two elements that make this house an active space adapted to the user and which allow him to alter the organization of domestic actions: On one hand, the functional spaces relate with the living areas by means of a series of blinds. On the other, the central area is lifted 60 cm from the ground. Both situations allow the user two configure different functional dispositions: opening or closing the blinds will reveal some of the elements of the house, such as the kitchen, the bed, the staircase or the ironing board. On the other hand, the elevated floor hides the new electricity and plumbing systems.

Finally, the house is designed with an energy saving strategy in mind. For example, each studio has an energy measurement system which translates into a chromatic code. Thus, energy consumption is reflected in the lighting of the home. The access to each house is possible thanks to hotel-type key cards which control the secondary electric circuits. According to the domestic experiments performed*, all these devices allow one to save up to 30% in the electricity bill.


* Selected work for the Arquia Próxima Award Interior Design and Refurbishment. Arquia Foundation, Caja de Arquitectos, 2012

The Electric Community

What happens behind the Windows of city buildings?

1. The Rear Window. One arrives home, opens the door and finds oneself in the street again. All actions within these small homes happen in a single space that looks out on to a building with has suddenly appeared in the sitting room. Behind the windows… anything can happen.

There is no outside or inside. Everything is continuous.

2. The house is a terminal. The infrastructures of cities end at the houses and configure the confort of domestic spaces. Technology goes through cities, going through houses on the way. A house is a terminal.

There is no inside or outside. Everything is continuous.

3. The remote control. A series of devices translate the consumption of energy of each house into spatial and chromatic codes. The domestic spaces are also political spaces. The house is the scene where an energy conscience is built. It is also a remote control where from to govern to rule the social-technical continuum.

We participate in the outside world from the inside.

4. Relational space. Each time that we enter or leave the house, we leave behind an ephemeral trace in the doorway. The photoluminiscent finish of the common area registers one’s passage. When the light turns off automatically, the space lights up for a while, which allows the users to leave each other messages: “I am home!” or “I’m going out for a while”.

Vaporous messages in common areas.


  • Architects:
  • elii - Uriel Fogué + Eva Gil + Carlos Palacios
  • Team:
  • Enrico Forestieri (Proyecto), Lucía Usera (Video + postproducción)
  • Developer:
  • Luis Arenas
  • Construction Company:
  • Radaragón Construcciones
  • Fotography:
  • María Carmona (
  • Model:
  • elii
  • Area:
  • 76.27 m2
  • Date:
  • 2011
  • Location:
  • Historic Distric, Zaragoza, Spain