YAC and the Italian State Property Agency have launched a competition of ideas (Pilgrims Heaven) to design a hospitality and reception center for pilgrims at St. Peter’s Church in Tuscania.

Human beings are peculiar creatures, a tangle of desires and questions greater than themselves. They are finite beings with infinite nostalgia, fleeting creatures with claims of eternity. Whatever its nature, the human root is intermingled with immanence and transcendence, the tangible and intangible. In this, architecture has always been and still is one of the main tools to shape abstract realities.

The Jubilee of 2025

For almost a millennium, one of the milestones of Western spirituality has been the celebration of the Jubilee. This is a Hebrew heritage and a special occasion where the Human and Divine meet. The next Jubilee will be in 2025, a year when the gates of Heaven open to all the people who long for it. Not coincidentally, for centuries this has been enshrined through architecture in the act of dismantling the wall sealing up the Holy Doors. These massive, finely crafted shutters symbolize the heavenly gates and are historically bricked over within Papal basilicas and opened every 25 years for the Jubilee.

Saint Peter in Tuscania

On this occasion, 35 million pilgrims will visit Rome. Many of them will flock not only to the established routes but also to more off-the-beaten-track itineraries resulting from distant traditions and precious silences. The complex of Saint Peter in Tuscania belongs to one of these itineraries. It is a place of great historical and cultural value, comprising the homonymous basilica, the former bishop’s palace, and an outdoor area with three medieval towers. With its majestic Romanesque façade and mosaic-rich interiors, the church is a place where time seems to stand still, and ancient stones tell of distant times, pilgrimages, and devotion.

Pilgrims Heaven Competition

On the occasion of the Holy Year, St. Peter’s Church will also need new spaces to exchange stories and experience moments of meditation, find a comfortable place to rest, and live the experience of pilgrimage. Pilgrims Heaven aims at meeting this need. This is the competition promoted by YAC and the Italian State Property Agency to design a hospitality and reception center for pilgrims at St. Peter’s Church in Tuscania. Pilgrims Heaven is an invitation to rethink the reception of pilgrims in one of Italy’s most evocative places. It aims at generating spaces that are functional, but also a source of reflection, harmony, and beauty by enhancing once again one of the oldest and purest purposes of architecture: giving shape to intangible and spiritual elements. YAC and the Italian State Property Agency thank all the architects who will take up this challenge.


Each jury is nominated with utmost care and is composed of professionals of the highest repute whose activity is consistent with the theme of the competition: Tatiana Bilbao, TATIANA BILBAO ARCHITECTS Manuel Aires Mateus, AIRES MATEUS Valerie Mulvin, MCCULLOUGH MULVIN Robert Konieczny, KWK PROMES Sami Tawfik, AEVF Chiara Cagiano de Azevedo, AGENZIA DEL DEMANIO


All awarded projects will be sent to websites, magazines, and architectural platforms. Furthermore, they can be displayed in national and international architectural events. 1st Prize: €8000 2nd Prize: €4000 3rd Prize: €2000 Gold Mention: €500 (2 awards) Honorable Mentions: 10 Finalist Mentions: 30


Complying with deadlines is a fundamental requirement to take part in the competition. All architects are encouraged to pay the utmost attention to the timeline and to complete each phase in advance. Early Bird Registration: Jun 17, 2024 – Jul 14, 2024 (€65/team*) Standard Registration: Jul 15, 2024 – Aug 11, 2024 (€85/team*) Late Registration: Aug 12, 2024 – Sep 8, 2024 (€115/team*) Material Submission Deadline: Sep 11, 2024 Jury Summoning: Sep 23, 2024

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