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A Secret Chapel In Valleacerón

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The Chapel in Valleacerón, Spain, was designed by Madrid-based architecture office S.M.A.O. It’s an example of folded concrete architecture with geometric shapes. This extraordinary building that is recognizable as a chapel only at second glance stands upon a hill. From outside you see folded concrete which resembles an oversized origami art piece.

In fact, golden concrete is the only material this church is made of. The unadorned facade has big glass windows. Thus the impinging light is effectively diffracted and illuminates the chapel in various ways throughout the day and the year. Thereby the spatial effect changes constantly. Static man-made concrete and dynamic natural light contrast each other. Upon entering the chapel in Valleacerón you find very few religious symbols. Visitors access the chapel through the western facade until arriving at the focal point in a non-symmetrical front. At the center of the church only an onyx lamp, a cross and an image represent the symbolic aspects of a religious place. Except for the lamp, there are no artificial light sources. The fold as an architectural stylistic device creates hidden spaces waiting to be found.

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All images © Juan Carlos Sancho