Daylight Investigations

Daylight as a force of life


Alejandro Caraballo


Nicolás Maruri


Universidad Politécnica de Madrid



Daylight as a force of life

Project Description

When we look at the sun, we can feel a primeval attracting force, preceding consciousness and thought, root of our very existence. A vital link that transcends the physical state and that unfortunately has been forgotten in the design of modern cities. The high skyscrapers that emerge from the urban centers and the high density of artificial light have altered our perception of daylight, resigning it to an absolutely secondary plane towards which we look with an unfocused lens. Our project aims to open an investigation in order to come through with a solution to relink our modern cities to the sunlight, and to propose a new urban model that is born from the relationship between technology and contemporary lifestyle, and our pre-existent link with the sun, engine of life and inexhaustible source of clean energy. [SOL-C] which stands for Solar Operative Life-Condenser is a multifunctional program artifact designed to be located as the core of new hi-tech cities. It takes advantage of the programmatic need to build general transport infrastructures and public facilities to generate a fragment of autonomous, colonizable, adaptive and diverse city around it. Its objective is to provoke the invasion of public space in a productive infrastructure and thus question the value of architecture as a specific order, building an argument around the need to think of the project as a highly volatile and modifiable element over time and raise the possibility to establish a design in which the most restrictive programmatic obligations coexist with the fragility of an evolving and changing space. This project is a study on the character and morphology of the infrastructural elements, their vocation for independence, their energetic functioning, and, in turn, on the capacity they have to be subverted and transformed from the human scale to turn them into strange habitable states. The habitat gives us the conditions with which we must play. Provoking an efficient bioclimatic response is partly reading and partly writing. We must be able to confront the laws that have already been written and challenge them, turn them on our side to find acceleration solutions that know how to integrate results into the design with a view to the future. That they can stay on time and change. That they are able to maintain flexible use and always function autonomously and efficiently. The system is an imposition on the landscape but in a conscious and complementary way. To build a project of this magnitude is to build a machine whose consumption is as accelerated as the future it intends. Therefore it will be its duty as an autonomous and independent machine to be able to generate all the energy it needs on its own. Its formal configuration is defined as compact, so its ratio of losses across surfaces is positive. Its extreme length suggests a superficial catchment system, but at the same time, the project's conception as an articulated megastructure suggests that each one of the sectors is capable of generating its own energy and does not depend on the adjacent sectors despite being intrinsically related. As it was said, the whole project is built over the physical properties of light. The main task was to create a whole system that could work only with solar energy and result in a high efficient contemporary living machine. Solar radiation is captured thanks to a complex multi-layered skin design that takes advantage of every weather situation and translates the energy held into electric supply for air-water based conditioning systems that help to create optimal inner environments. The use of curved VELUX in the interior layers of the skin allows the system to be ventilated in summer and to induce the greenhouse effect in order to sustain the inner gardens which provide to the life-condenser of humidity and food supplies. The project is a linear-volatile landscape itself, in which there are in coexistence the necessarily productive uses, with all the diversity of parasitic uses that adapt to the needs of the city and change over time. The result is an object that contains a diffuse atmosphere inside and in which your entire program is visually and conceptually interconnected.