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Contributing more than three million euros, a total of 28 Spanish businesses and institutions are supporting Madrid’s presence at the Universal Exposition, which is being held this year between May and October in Shanghai. Through their collaboration they will help to promote the Madrid Pavilion at an international level. Madrid’s stand consists of two real and sustainable structures: The Casa de Bambú (Bamboo House) and the Árbol de Aire (Air Tree) are located in the “Urban Best Practices” area and have been designed to be environmentally friendly and to improve the quality of life of users.

Spanish companies within the renewable energy sector that have given their support to Madrid include Intemper, Climatewell, Elecnor, Grupo Unisolar, Onyx Solar and Uponor. In the fields of architecture and communication participants include Garrigues, Metro, Telefónica, Caja Madrid, EMT, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, MSL, Deloitte, La Caixa, Empresa Municipal Promoción de Madrid, Desarrollo de Franquicias en China, Ecosistema Urbano, Grupo Ferro Atlántica, Duch, Puerto de Valencia, Tropical Trees Company, S L, La Astorgana, Asispa, Mónico, British Airways, Finnair, and Air China which is acting as official carrier.

Madrid, which is participating in the Shanghai Expo under the slogan Better City, Better Life, will be showcasing a pavilion which includes a number of full scale houses and will be equipped with the latest technologies. The rest of the building will be used as an exhibition space showing the urban evolution of the city and the most important projects undertaken in recent years, such as the Calle 30 and Madrid Río projects.

The Bamboo House and the Air Tree

The Bamboo House will become part of the pavilion though inside there will be none of the original housing units. The exterior of the building will remain intact but it will be modified to adapt it to the local climate, enabling visitors to see how renewable energies are applied to such everyday things as air conditioning and light controls, through features integrated into the structure of the building, such as a solar atrium, the glazed north wall and, of course, the bamboo “skin”.

The Air Tree will also form part of the pavilion and will be different from its “siblings” in Madrid. As its name suggests, it will be dedicated to wind energy and will be equipped with small windmills for producing electricity and a huge ventilator that will help keep visitors cool. Madrid’s participation will continue beyond the Expo because the two installations will remain in Shanghai as a legacy of our city and as a means of maintaining relations with China and improving Madrid’s image in this Asian country and the world in general.

These two projects are representative of the commitment the City Council has made in recent years to creating a more sustainable and habitable city. And this has been recognised by the Shanghai Expo as Madrid is the only Spanish city which has been individually selected to participate in the Urban Best Practices section. In this space, along with the 30 other world cities selected, Madrid will showcase its strategy for urban regeneration and its environmentally friendly public housing policy.

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