ai weiwei / fake design: estanzuela sanctuary, ruta del peregrino
ai weiwei / fake design: estanzuela sanctuary, ruta del peregrino ai weiwei / fake design: estanzuela sanctuary, ruta del peregrino
sep 18, 2012
ai weiwei / fake design: estanzuela sanctuary, ruta del peregrino


along the ruta del peregrino, pilgrim’s route in jalisco, mexico, the ‘estanzuela sanctuary’ by beijing-based architect ai weiwei of fake design is a structure which carves into the landscape. crossing the existing path, the line obstructs and redirects visitors traveling through the site to experience the immediate location. beginning submerged at the northern end, a stacked stone structure rises to ground level to perpendicularly meet the meandering route, and continues to rise above the terrain towards the southern tip. unifying the opposing ends, a continuous bench stretches across the length of the bordering walls to create diverse stopping points to feel intimacy, shelter and openness along the single axis.

ai weiwei fake design estanzuela sanctuary ruta del peregrino mexico
ai weiwei‘s ‘estanzuela sanctuary’ follows the the ruta del peregrino
(above) image © iwan baan
(above) image © iwan baan



spanning 117 kilometers between ameca and talpa de allende, the historical religious pilgrimmage, ‘ruta del peregrino’, attracts 2 million people each year. seven landmark projects are realized or nearing completion along the way, giving better conditions to individuals whom embarked upon the journey, which ascends to an altitude of 2,000 meters above sea level.


see designboom’s previous coverage of the designs and buildings here.

ai weiwei fake design estanzuela sanctuary ruta del peregrino mexico
benches line the walls of the linear structure
image © iwan baan

aerial view of estanzuela sanctuary
image © iwan baan

site plan

entire ruta del peregrino
image © mario vazquez

‘ruta del peregrino’ at the venice biennale
image © designboom

collection of materials and models from each of the 7 projects
image © designboom

model of the ‘estanzuela sanctuary’ amidst a collection of study models
image © designboom


project info:


project title: estanzuela sanctuary
location: estanzuela
state: built
architects: ai wei wei / fake design
team: andy lee, andré murer

title of the whole project: pilgrim’s route
client: secretary of tourism of jalisco; secretary of tourism aurelio lopez rocha
program: pilgrim’s route masterplan
location: from ameca to talpa de allende, jalisco, mexico.
curatorial team: tatiana bilbao and derek dellekamp
masterplan and project coordination: tatiana bilbao, derek dellekamp and rozana montiel
research team: rozana montiel/periférica, adiranne montemayor, carlos zimbrón
invited architects: luis aldrete / luis aldrete | arquitectos (mexico), tatiana bilbao / tatiana bilbao s.c. (mexico),
derek dellekamp / dellekamp arquitectos (mexico), alejandro aravena / elemental (chile), emanuel christ and christoph gantenbein / christ & gantenbein (switzerland),
tilo herlach, simon hartmann, simon frommenwiler / hhf architects (switzerland), rozana montiel / periférica (mexico), ai weiwei / fake design (china)
invited designers: godoylab (industrial), omar orlaineta (graphic), toa taller de operaciones ambi- entales (environmental)

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ai weiwei (58 articles)