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 mexicoai 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 mexicobenches line the walls of the linear structureimage © iwan baan

aerial view of estanzuela sanctuaryimage © 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)

  • looks a lot like Michael Heizer\’s work

    dbkii says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news