St. Maurice's Abbey in Switzerland was built in a rather precarious place. Constructed in 515, the building stands tall against a steep cliff that is prone to rock slides. Damaging rock slides.
Over the last 15 centuries, the Abbey has been decimated by periods of falling rock. A significant strike in 1945 took down the Abbey's main tower. Because of its historical importance, the tower and other portions of the building have been rebuilt over and over.
To protect the ancient building once and for all, Savioz Fabrizzi architects built a cantilevered, translucent roof that extends out over the abbey. The roof is drilled into the adjacent cliff and can hold up to 170 tons of rock. The structure lets sunlight filter down upon the grounds below and maintains the Abbey's natural, verdant environment. [DesignBloom via Inhabitat]