Responsibility #3: Solar Tower

  • Designer: AAIMM Architecture Office
  • Work: Solar Tower
  • Infrastructural System: Energy | Food & Animals
  • Type + Intervention: New Construction of a Tower producing Electricity, Food and Heat
  • Location: Sabadell, Spain
  • Year: 2012 (Project)
  • Reference 1:
  • Reference 2:

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Designed by AAIMM, the project of the Solar Towers is based on the analysis of the urban fabric of the city Sabadell, Barcelona. A medium-scale, self-sufficient and productive infrastructure promoting energy production from renewable and clean sources, the project also intends to promote the enhancement of healthy mobility through electric bicycles and electric cars, and to generate productive urban farming spaces and social community spaces for elderly, temporarily unemployed, or displaced inhabitans; all in one single infrastructure.

The project evaluates the evolution of the energy landscapes over the centuries and its great influence on the evolution of cities and their growing negative impact on the environment: the loss of energy in an open consumption cycle, the high energy expenditure in transportation against the local and balanced harvesting of food and local energy production, and the detriment that this way of consuming afflicts to the rural landscapes, which faces growing cities all over the world.

After a detailed study of consumption, sunlight attainability and outcome production possibilities, the office designed a small infrastructure-building to be introduced in the existing city to produce electricity, food and heat in a clean and sustainable way and in a close relation to the specific necessities of the urban density needs and its different inhabitants and ways of life.

The electricity produced by high-efficiency photovoltaic panels will be used to provide housing, shops and a charging station for electric bicycles and electric cars in a share and loaning system implemented by the administration offices. Each tower has four floors to generate small urban gardens in elevated trays as a productive landscape for senior citizens, unemployed, youth, schools and other associations or to be used as workshops, classrooms, or community uses. From these small urban gardens, small local markets can be created and evolve into a whole network of markets, displaced inhabitants can be educated in professional labours or in new technologies or get orientation in their job search.

In total, the project plans to place 24 towers in Barcelona, mainly on roundabouts, pedestrian areas, major service areas and urban junk-spaces; promoting equitable access to energy and urban gardens and encouraging energy development in the city equitably. This implementation could produce electricity exclusively to supply the total annual consumption of 400 households.

The towers are a tool to develop the smart city objective; its clean production usage, its mobility impact and the information it delivers to the inhabitants via Wi-Fi connections to a specific application designed for it, clearly involves the user of the cities in it’s improvement, optimizing their way of working, learning, moving, eating and creating a new relation with the energy its consumes at the same time it improves the environmental quality of the energy the city demands.

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