thesis_access.pdf (6.91 MB)
Download file

The Architecture of Pilgrimage:  Sacred Site and Sacred Self in the Quest for Meaning

Download (6.91 MB)
posted on 12.11.2021, 09:39 by Loader, Fran

As an historic cultural phenomenon that has been practiced throughout the globe for centuries, from ancient Greeks through to Vietnam veterans, the practise of pilgrimage has undergone a renaissance in the last few decades. This revival has seen the definition of pilgrimage re-examined and re-evaluated in terms that reflect the contemporary positions of religion and spirituality in society. It is up to the individual now to decide what they consider to be sacred and where they will find value and meaningfulness (Reader, 2007). As one of the oldest forms of seeking meaning and meaningfulness, pilgrimage is intimately connected with the human need and desire to become "complete embodied and spiritual beings" (Pallasmaa, 2005). So too is architecture concerned with our ability to find and occupy a meaningful existence. Yet the relationship between architecture and pilgrimage hasn't yet been explored in a meaningful manner. By exploring the concept of pilgrimage, this research aims at demonstrating how pilgrimage can be used to anchor meaning and meaningfulness in architecture. This aim is investigated though the design of a hospice facility. Architecture and pilgrimage are both concerned with humanity's search and desire for meaning and meaningfulness; pilgrimage, as a metaphor for life and as the physical act of journeying in order to find meaning; architecture and its ability to allow us to have, be and create meaningful experiences within our everyday lives.


Copyright Date


Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License

Author Retains Copyright

Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (Professional)

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Architecture


Wood, Peter