elii [oficina de arquitectura]


025 · solar factor

Productive Public Spaces


Strategic study for the integration of photovoltaic energy in the centre of Madrid

Comission. Madrid City Council. 2007. Completed

This strategic study is part of a plan developed by the City Hall of Madrid. The objective was to evaluate the impact of the installation of photovoltaic energy devices in the city and examine the spatial, social and architectural possibilities offered by the integration of technological devices in the centre of Madrid.

The study includes seven basic sections:

-Current status of the situation

-Strategic cartography

-Energy management, feasibility study and energy potential

-Spatial impact and integration

-Communication and socialization

-Case studies


Conventional calculation formats are adapted to the specific urban morphology of Madrid and an applied methodology is developed. By this procedure we obtain an evaluation of the feasibility of each case scenario with regards to the use of the generated electricity and the city’s photovoltaic energy potential.

As opposed to most city infrastructure networks, which run in a silent and invisible manner, photovoltaic energy needs direct exposure to solar radiation. This entails unprecedented scenarios in urban environments. The study also contemplated the spatial impact of this technology. Its architectural potential also constitutes an opportunity to build a new urban identity.


1. Strategic cartography. Production of strategic maps for the detection of areas of opportunity for solar PV production. Solar potential is evaluated based on a comparison with the patterns of electricity consumption in domestic spaces and the potential power supply for public lighting.

2. Energy management. The spatial impact of photovoltaic infrastructures is directly related to the use to which the energy is destined. Energy behaviors shape the city.

3. Metabolism. The city is a hybrid space in which nature, culture and technology coexist. The networks are integrated into the "urban body" configuring the new urban species.

4. Socialization and communication. Issues such as sustainability entail not only a change in technological patterns, but also the construction of a new culture associated with energy. For this reason, the study incorporates a series of proposals for the socialization of energy that make the invisible processes of the city understandable to citizens.

5. Urban identity. Many of the renewable energies resources, such as solar photovoltaic or windmill production, burst into the cities occupying a space that had been previously liberated. The project takes advantage of this condition to configure a new identity associated with energy for a contemporary city such as Madrid.

  • Architects:
  • elii - Uriel Fogué + Eva Gil + Carlos Palacios
  • Team:
  • Elena Cuerda 
  • Developer:
  • Oficina Centro Ayuntamiento de Madrid
  • PV Consultant:
  • Schüco
  • Date
  • 2007
  • Study Area:
  • Zona Centro, Madrid