Supreme Court

Energy-efficient illumination brings the magnificent architecture of this historic site to life at night

Created in 1812 by the Cádiz Cortes (Assembly), the Supreme Court of Spain in Madrid, is the highest court in all legal fields (civil and criminal matters, administrative proceedings, labour law and military law).

It is housed in the Convent of the Salesas Reales, an 18th-century convent built by Barbara of Portugal to house the nuns of the Order of the Visitation in Spain. The institution was active until 1870, when the nuns were evicted and the convent became the new courthouse for the Supreme Court.

Shining a light on art and culture

In 2020, the Iberdrola Foundation, a global energy leader, decided to enhance the architecture of the 2 main entrances to this historic building as part of its programme to support cultural development and conserve historic and artistic heritage. The other sides of the building were to be left in the dark, to eliminate any potential light nuisance on the surrounding buildings.

The foundation wanted to employ the latest lighting technology to achieve the required design with a minimal footprint and impact on the building.

They chose a mixture of energy-efficient Schréder LED floodlights to highlight the architectural details of the two façades.

Sustainable, low-energy design

This lighting scheme was to use a neutral white colour palette (3000K) and high CRI (80) for a “natural lighting” effect. The light is projected up from ground level to a certain height, so that that the cornices and arches cast complex shadows, just like they do when the sun shines. The high CRI (80) also enables the deep colour of the sandstone, its texture and its intricate details to be revealed.

Just over 60 LED floodlights, including the SCULP collection, ENYO and TERRA, were installed. Renowned for their high photometric quality, minimal maintenance and a long-life span, they make it possible to direct the light where it is needed and guarantee a low energy consumption, leading to a more effective lighting.  

Modern lighting to reflects heritage

The new illumination scheme was inaugurated on 15th December 2020.
The lighting not only gives the building a completely fresh look by night but also reveals its rich historical roots. All of the lighting aspects were carefully selected to ensure the lighting output, colour temperatures and effects would reveal the courthouse at its very best and for many years to come.



Iberdrola Foundation