The Solar Decathlon Europe (SDE) is a small, single family, solar-energy home performance competition. Originated in the US by the NREL, the single family home model does not make the best fit in the European context, denser and more urban, and we worked on tuning this
Our first task was finding the most appropriate place for it. We believed it needed to draw on the American example, which is held on the Washington Mall, its urban and political center. But we needed to find an empty and shadow-free space in excess of 10,000 sq. m.
We studied different possibilities from several points of view; the original one the organizers were considering at Parque Juan Carlos I, along with two other locations we considered far superior: Nuevos Ministerios adjoining the large La Castellana avenue and the under construction Parque Lineal del Manzanares, along Madrid’s river below the Royal Palace
Changes in the political climate at the organization made the SDE become an almost perfect clone of its American cousin, which made it less of an urban proposal and resort to a house race: the public and the way it could relate to this race should become the main focus for the design
We proposed the installation of a few large temporary stairs/stalls on which the public could sit, rest, and watch the houses from different heights, something relevant to be able to analyze its roof and facade design and how it helps exploit solar energy. Some of those elevated platforms could be use for broadcasting
If sun was important for the competing houses, a summer shade was so for the public. A big shade made up of reflecting balloons that acted as solar concentration cells, allowed for events all through the day. The same system could be used to shade the stalls and other public spaces
A shadow-casting furniture system was also proposed that could be later be used in Madrid’s parks and avenues
- Masterplan and Consulting for location strategies
- Year 2010
- Madrid. Spain