elii [oficina de arquitectura]


094 · mad +

Exploring Madrid of 'Earthly delights

Urban strategy for the Veranos de la Villa 2016



Urban strategy for the Veranos de la Villa 2016

Mad + (‘Madrid of earthly delights’) is a strategic project to deploy the programme of the Veranos de la Villa (VdV) festival throughout the urban fabric of Madrid. The various activities and events of the VdV, which used to be clustered in downtown Madrid in previous editions, will be spread throughout the city for 2016. The spaces of its 21 districts will therefore be turned into stages for the activities of this traditional Madrid festival.

During the two months of the festival, citizens are encouraged to wander through the city, explore it and meet up with/in it. One of the main goals of the project is to let citizens and visitors rediscover Madrid through experience, to open a world of possibilities for public spaces in Madrid.

The project is based on the mapping of the Centro, Arganzuela, Retiro, Salamanca, Chamberí, Tetuán, Chamartín, Fuencarral - El Pardo, Moncloa - Aravaca, Latina, Carabanchel, Usera, Puente de Vallecas, Moratalaz, Ciudad Lineal, Hortaleza, Villaverde, Villa de Vallecas, Vicálvaro, San Blas  – Canillejas and Barajas districts, to pinpoint public spaces, parks, resources, infrastructures, cultural centres, sports centres, vacant lots, relevant buildings and spaces that are intimate, beautiful, original or ordinary, as well as other unexpected locations within the urban geography. The spaces will be evaluated and studied in detail, and then reprogrammed to house the various activities and events. This will activate and add value to the diverse heritage of Madrid, opening it to a multi-faceted and contemporary vision.

The project is conceived as a dialogue: a dialogue between the physical support of Madrid, the different urban agents involved, the existing cultural initiatives and dynamics, the guest artists, the participants, the heritage, etc; in short, a dialogue between the existing reality of the city and the projection of other ways of imagining it, through some summer gatherings.

The city discovers itself. This urban strategy multiplies Madrid. More Madrid (Mad +), beyond the black box and the traditional concert hall, presenting public spaces as spots to reflect, learn, observe, meet, listen and enjoy, trying to stir the empathy of the citizens of Madrid for their city. Some of the spaces conjure up possible programmes, such as a classical music concert in the monumental El Capricho gardens, a kite-flying workshop on a prairie, somersaults in the middle of the river in Madrid Río, urban art in the main artery of the city, a DJ music session within the Museo de la Aeronáutica (Aeronautics Museum) among aeroplanes, a DJ session in the largest public pools in the city, fireworks against the backdrop of the city, etc. Other spaces address the artists by proposing other forms of mise-en-scène and on-site work, such as dancers that present their choreographies in conversation with a boulevard or performers in a park with a view of the city. Finally, some neighbourhood activities that have been in place for a long time, such as the floating cabaret (a cabaret in the middle of the lake in the Casa de Campo) or the legendary sea battle in Vallecas, are also incorporated. These activities are afford a greater visibility and acknowledged as part of the social heritage of Madrid, and they extend and complement the artistic proposal.

Just like in the Garden of Earthly Delights triptych by Hieronymus Bosch (which will be displayed in the Prado museum in Madrid this summer), Madrid is understood as a complex, diverse, multi-shaped and varied present that operates at different levels: from the detail to the city. 


1. Deblackboxing Madrid. Conceiving the artistic and scenic activities and proposals beyond the space of the closed back box.

Deblackboxing the festival to blackbox the city.

2. Beyond downtown. VdV relies on the Madrid transport network to deploy throughout the whole city. A festival in motion that challenges the downtown-suburbia categories, where culture and citizens travel around the city.

Madrid is many cities, it is Mad +.

3. Potential and map. Maps present the relationships and show the involved urban agents. Re describing the present allows the city to be viewed differently and the potential of the spaces to be revealed.

Re-describing the city, caring for potential.

4. Unsuspected locations. The urban strategy will put unsuspected points within reach, reveal the city in other ways, grant access to other forms of experience. Madrid is fascinating.

Escaping routine, discovering a diverse heritage.

5. Dialogue and urban experience. The methodology is based on dialogue and exploration: a dialogue between the physical medium of Madrid, the various urban agents involved, the existing cultural initiatives and dynamics, the guest artists, the heritage, the multidisciplinary team, the participants, etc.

Possible locations for specific contents. Possible contents for unique locations.

6. Active citizenship. Avoiding repetition and routine to explore and experiment the city in other ways.

Culture in motion, active citizens.

7. Zoom in, zoom out. As in the Garden of Earthly Delights, by Hieronymus Bosch, the map makes sense at different levels: on a general level, the strategy is based on the decentralisation and intensification of the polynuclear nature of the city. On a smaller level, it is based on the activation of spaces of proximity to deploy the programmes.

Madrid of earthly delights, “between Hell and Heaven”.

  • Architects:
  • elii - Uriel Fogué + Eva Gil + Carlos Palacios
  • Architect coordinating the team:
  • elii - Ana López
  • Colaboradores:
  • elii - Andrés Stohlmann, Eduardo Castillo, María Rodríguez, Irene de Santos
  • VdV art director:
  • Maral Kekejian
  • VdV art team:
  • Maral Kekejian, María Ordás, Pedro Portellano, María Folguera, Javier Benedicto, Max Gilbert y elii
  • EVdV production team:
  • Madrid Destino
  • Promoter:
  • Ayuntamiento de Madrid
  • Area:
  • 69.202,73Ha
  • Date:
  • 1st July – 31st August 2016
  • Location:
  • Madrid