This paper is a study of the photovoltaic (PV) systems in the buildings’ design of the Battery Park City (BPC) residential development, in New York. The BPC development is the first in the US to mandate, through the 2000 Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) guidelines, the use of PV as a renewable energy generation system in its individual buildings. The scope of this study is to show how PV is integrated in the BPC buildings’ design process, and what can be learned for future PV applications. The study draws directly from the design decision making sources, investigating on the concerns and suggestions of the BPCA director of sustainability and the BPC architects and PV installers. It attempts to contrast a theoretical approach that sees PV as a technology to domesticate in architecture and bring, through grounded research, PV industry closer to the architectural design process. The findings of the study suggest that while stringent environmental mandates help, in the short term, to kick-start the use of PV systems in buildings, it is the recognition of the PV’s primary role as energy provider, its assimilation in the building industry, and its use in a less confining building program that allows for its evolution in architecture.