It’s easy to get overloaded with design candy, and it’s just as easy to forget how simple good architecture can be. And it doesn’t get any simpler than this sanctuary, which will sit along a path in Mexico that every year, during holy week, sees 2 million religious pilgrims. It’s part of a broader plan to create lookout points and rest stops in the region.
Designed by Dellekamp Architects, construction began in 2008, and comprises just a huge ring that rests upon the land. Through gaps with the ground, visitors can wander in; it’s nothing more or less than a simple marker of space, like Stonehenge or an ancient land drawing; as Dellekamp points out, the circle is the oldest symbol of unity we have. Still can’t see the appeal? Then think of the subtle monumentality of Maya Lin’s Vietnam War Memorial, or a Richard Serra sculpture—-but even simpler, with a lighter touch appropriate to the journey of its visitors.