Blur Building by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Hard to build? A little less so, thanks to The Atlas

From French viaducts to Swiss mist, this week our online Atlas reveals the know-how behind some tricky structures

Regular Phaidon readers will know a bit about our newly launched Online Atlas, the dedicated resource website for Architects and students of architecture (and those of us whose interest goes beyond merely gawping at some beautiful photographs). 

The site, which features over 130,000 images, 3,079 projects from 1,537 architects in 115 countries around the world is an invaluable aid to anyone who works in the industry and needs to know who did what, where and - most importantly - how. 

The Atlas editors have introduced a new feature, in which they pick up on a trend or focus on a specific aspect of architecture or an architectural project each week. It's called Editors' Focus and the first one was all about small buildings.


The Atlas's new feature, the 9 hardest to Construct Buildings
The Atlas's new feature, the 9 hardest to Construct Buildings

In their latest focus the editors alight on nine of the hardest to construct buildings listed. These include well-known works, such as the Millau Viaduct and 30 St Mary Axe, both by Foster + Partners, as well as lesser-known constructions, such as the Trollstigen National Tourist Route by Reiulf Ramstad Architects, a startling building made all the more impressive by its remote, exposed location on a Norwegian mountain pass, and the Blur Building by Diller Scofidio + Renfro in Lake Neuchatel, Switzerland, which creates a constant mist around its structure; as the Atlas explains, "a smart weather system reads the shifting climatic conditions of temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction and regulates water pressure at a variety of zones."

You can click on the landing page for the story here and after registering go through to read all about each fascinating project. All in all, it's an easy way in to finding the kind of content that will really nourish and enrich the committed architecture lover's knowledge.

Incidentally, you may be interested to know that the Atlas team have just started tweeting at @phaidonatlas so check out their tweets and be sure to favourite and retweet anything you like - we're sure you'll find lots that you do. For a limited time, anyone tweeting an Atlas project - any project - will be rewarded with one week's free subscriber access to the site. You can find out more about the Online Atlas here.

Meanwhile, for more on contemporary building, please take a look at The Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century Architecture and the Phaidon Architecture Travel Guide App.