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Nice roof, Abbey!

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At its best, building and architecture not only provides beauty but also innovative solutions to problems. Here’s a great example of that.

Inhabitat recently blogged about the Swiss St. Maurice Abbey. It’s ancient — more than 1,500 years old — and during the thousand-plus years of its existence, it sometimes needs a little TLC.

Recently, the abbey had some rocks fall on it. For protection, it was originally built next to a cliff, and that decision has served it well for thousands of years. Unfortunately, where there are cliffs, there are rocks, and when there’s a structure nearby…

Somehow, the St. Maurice Abbey had to be protected. But how to to do that while keeping with its ancient aesthetics and traditions? Enter Savioz Fabrizzi Architectes. They designed a roof that gently floats over the abbey and achieves the goals of protection and not changing the fundamental character of this historic place. It lets in massive amounts of natural light and looks like a cross between water and sky. Inhabitat has some great pictures of the project; check them out here.