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Sancho-Madridejos builds origami-like chapel on mountainous landscape of central Spain


On the top of a small hill in Cuenca, in central Spain, Sancho-Madridejos architecture office has designed a chapel for a private client. On a rural estate among centenary holm oaks and truffle cultivation, the final project takes shape as an origami-like artwork: an angular concrete structure with its front façade rising up as a bent pyramid.

The designers placed great importance on the role of the light, with its fragile and unstable quality coming in contrast with the robust material that covers the entire structure. As for the interior, they prioritized simplicity, while the play of shadow and light allows the visitor to appreciate the sacred character of the space.


The design team at Sancho-Madridejos architecture office sought to create a spatial experience that is enhanced by openings, slowly modifying the interior. The resulting structure presents itself as a volume with clear geometries, while an ample recessed entrance welcomes the owners, leading them toward a compressed end. There, big concrete masses form a bulky cross, while linear openings penetrate the fold, casting different lights that change throughout the day.

When inside, a wide triangle glazing provides sweeping views towards a valley filled with cherry trees and crop fields, creating a visual juxtaposition; the off-white interior meets the colorful scenery.

We chose the specific location of the chapel so that it becomes a reference point from both the estate and the road leading to it, which spins and circles around the chapel when approaching,’ mentioned the architects.

Nearby the chapel, sits the house of the family designed also by the studio. The dwelling faces away from the path but opens out toward the views of the valley. Following the same design language, it is roofed with a concrete double dome that divides the house into two parts: the public and private areas.

Project info:

Name: Chapel in Sierra la Villa

Architects: Sol Madridejos of Sancho-Madridejos studio in collaboration with Juan Carlos Sancho

Project leader: Victor Alonso

Design team: Daniel G. Marinas, Elena Mira, Félix Bellido, Peio Erroteta, Gerardo Martín

Consultants: Germán Ferrández (building engineer), Bernabeu Ingenieros (structure engineer), Lynka global engineering (mep engineer)

Contractor: Segesa

Location: Villaescusa de Haro, Cuenca, Spain

Design: 2014

Completion: 2021

Area: 83 sqm

Client: private

linear openings penetrate the walls allowing natural light to tackle in


  • 16647 Villaescusa de Haro, Cuenca, Spain
  • Sancho-Madridejos