© 2019 by Tseng-Hsuan Wei

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The Heterotopia of Religion 

Daily meeting with the religion city, as a representation of the disappearing path

* Delhi architecture festival awards / First Award

* AILUS graduation design competition / Honorable mention
* Team 20 international competition / Judges' award

Taipei / Taiwan


Year: 2016

Type: Urban design

Function: Culture facilities

Property: Academic / Individual


During the period of pilgrimage festival in Taiwan, the city which we live in connect to the invisible city of religion. In this time people celebrate and work together with one belief. It is similar to any religious festivals in Europe. For example, Las Fallas in Valencia, Spain. All of these festivals are supported by the power of faith. In my point of view, this is the time when city`s culture is presented directly.  
Therefore, how to transfer these specific time into our daily time is the mail idea of this project. Sociologist Emile Durkheim said that “If religion has given birth to all that is essential in society, it is because the idea of society is the soul of religion" in the Elementary Forms of the Religious Life. He believes that religion is a representation of society. Aa a consequence, I tried to find the composition of pilgrimage and the connection between the festival and daily time.


Tataocheng is not only the historical area of Taipei but also one of the most important religion neighborhoods in Taiwan. Its hierarchy of religion facilities can be realized as a religion city which includes four main temples, five border temples, and eight folk clubs. These facilities have played an important role in the development of Taipei. However, because of rapid urbanization in the past four decades, this invisible city`s track has gradually disappeared. 


In addition, Tataocheng faces the problem of urban decay recently. So, the propose of this design is not only to preserve the culture but also propose a new idea for urban renewal.

 Re-route pilgrimage, the new route is a living museum of Pilgrimage, and a stage to present the Taiwanese folk culture

Hierarchy of Tataocheng`s temples

Hierarchy of Tataocheng`s temples

Religion city of Tataocheng

The religion city of Tataocheng is built up by eight folk clubs, five border temples, and four main temples. This city has a very clear hierarchy and organization. The site is located in the center of this religion city. 500 meters distance is the best distance when people consider urban planning. As a result, I stuck to this idea when I figured out the religion city in Tataocheng.

 Five border temples in Tataocheng 

All routes of pilgrimage festival are inside the border which is composed by the five border temples in Tataocheng. The middle one is the most important factor. Every route passes this point during the pilgrimage, and sometimes even more than once . In this section, the folk gods called “Seventh Lord and Eighth Lord”, and “lion dance troupe “will join the pilgrimage procession.

Four main temples in Tataocheng

The routes of pilgrimage are consisted of the four main temples in Tataocheng. These routes reflected the relationship between these temples. In this part, holy palanquin, holy flags, and holy banner will join the pilgrimage procession.

Eight main folk clubs in Tataocheng

Activities during pilgrimage festivals are performed by eight folk clubs in Tataocheng. Every time before the start of pilgrimage, each folk clubs would go to the border temples and the main temples to declare the start of the pilgrimage. In this early stage, parade formation, flags, and holy generals are the members of pilgrimage procession.

Site 1 / Lobby

Connecting the religion city with the real city

Site 2 / Storage

Representing the disappearing historical path, and displaying the holy palanquins.

Site 3 / Bridge

This bridge is a new layer for pilgrimage and a stage to show the folk activities.

Site 4 / Kitchen

This area is for “Bando” a Taiwanese style outdoor party.