The Pilgrim’s Route is a religious phenomenon centered and moved by the adoration to the Virgin of Talpa. La ‘Ruta’ (The Pilgrim’s Route) stretches out on a distance of 117 kilometers. Approximately two million people participate each year, starting in the town of Ameca, ascending to el Cerro del Obispo up to 2000 meters above sea level to the final destination town of Talpa de Allende to meet the virgin of devotion as an act of devotion, faith and gratitude.
This project aims to provide the historical route with better conditions for pilgrims as well to maximize the social and economic profit for this area by taking advantage of this massive event. The master plan we designed consist of an ecological corridor with infrastructure and iconic architectural pieces that add to the religious ritual and also aim to appeal to a broader audience and allow the Route to have a flow of visitor beyond the religious.
We decided to convince the client to invite 7 architects and artist form different part of the world and Mexico to strongly relate both to the extraordinary landscape and to the religious ritual, becoming the imaginary landmarks of a deeply rutted phenomenon. Each landmark by a different designer, a group of individual dialogues with specific sites and intentions that add up, to wave a single story.
Gratitude Open Chapel
Tatiana Bilbao Estudio / Dellekamp Arquitectos
At the beginning of the pilgrimage route to the Virgin of Talpa the road leads up the hill Cerro del Obispo and from there, contrasting against the sky, we can see the chapel Capilla de la Gratitud. This sculpture is part of a cultural, touristic-religious route of 117 km length from Ameca to Talpa de Allende, realized upon the order of the Secretary for Tourism of the state of Jalisco. An inclination leads to the wall of promises where the pilgrims declare their personal quest and the motive of their expedition. And the same way we enter this symbolic space of gratitude and personal reflection which consists of nothing but four walls.
Mesa Colorada Hermitage
Tatiana Bilbao Estudio
The Ermita Mesa Colorada is the first hermitage in the route. The pilgrims should reach it on the second day of their walk. It is located in the middle of the forest, on a ridge with red-colored soil. Before the path starts to descend for approximately 20 km, the pilgrims pass a clearance covered with red earth.
Two walls rising out of the earth are guiding the pilgrims into a labyrinthine center where the walls open the view up toward the sky. These two walls warped into one another create a shaded space closed from the outside world focused into the sky. An intertwined intimate space for rest and prays, before winding out into the opposite direction towards Tlalpa.
The two walls were designed to be built out of concrete mixed with red earth from the site. They have an increasing height up to eight meters and a total length of 92 meters.