savioz fabrizzi architectes
Überdachung der archäologischen Ruine St-Maurice
best architects 14 in Gold
The Abbey of St. Maurice was built here nearly 1,500 years ago. The site was surely selected because of the cliff rising up behind, which was thought to offer protection. Due to falling rocks, however, the cliff face would later turn out to be more of a threat than a boon. Rock slides have always been a factor here, causing substantial damage. Some events are known to us: for example, a landslide in 1611 led to the decision to move the monastery, and in 1942 a plunging block of stone destroyed the church spire. These falling rocks are a constant in the history of the setting. Our project tries to convey this history. The suspension of 170 tonnes of stones makes the ever-present danger palpable. Inside, the canopy creates a quiet, almost mystical atmosphere. It is located above the existing buildings in order to leave their façades and the crag visible. The »stone roof« filters the light and ensures even and diffuse illumination. The structural support system consists of load-bearing elements resting on three points. The main girders are anchored to the rock face at two points. The mass of stones assembled on the structure serves to absorb both the force of the wind and the weight of falling rocks.