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Pilgrims Heaven

YAC and the Italian State Property Agency launch a competition of ideas to design a hospitality and reception center for pilgrims at St. Peter's Church in Tuscania.

Pilgrims Heaven

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.

For almost a millennium, one of the milestones of the 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. This is the 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. They are massive, finely crafted shutters which are the symbols of the heavenly gates and are historically bricked over within Papal basilicas and opened every 25 years for the Jubilee. 

On that 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 if these itineraries. It is a place of great historical and cultural value and comprises 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.

On the occasion of the Holy Year, St. Peter's Church will also need new spaces, where 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 by professionals of the highest repute whose activity is consistent with the theme of the competition.

  • Tatiana Bilbao
    Tatiana Bilbao Architects
  • Manuel Aires Mateus
  • Valerie Mulvin
  • Robert Konieczny
    KWK Promes
  • Sami Tawfik
  • 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

Gold Mention

€ 500

Honorable Mentions


Finalist Mentions



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.

* +22% VAT. Fulfilling an “Early bird”, “Standard” or “Late” registration does not affect submission deadline.

Early Bird Registration

€ 65 / team*

Standard Registration

€ 85 / team*

Late Registration

€ 115 / team*

Material Submission Deadline

Jury Summoning

Results Announcement


YAC provides architects with content-rich competition material so that they can best express their ideas and thoughts wherever they live.


pictures of the area


2D and 3D model of the area




Is there an age limit to take part in the competition?

PayPal doesn’t work in my country, is there any other way to pay the registration fee?

Can a team submit more than one proposal?

Which requirements should the pilgrims’ reception center fulfill?

Are there any limitations to designing new volumes?

Is it allowed to demolish or modify part of the existing structure?


YAC thanks all the people who have been engaged in organizing the competition by sharing time, materials and resources to make the experience of architects unique.

Agenzia del DemanioAEVFKWK PromesTatiana Bilbao EstudioMccullough Mulvin ArchitectsAires Mateus


Pilgrims Heaven

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