Main News Notre-Dame-de-Paris – a Part of The French Fate

Notre-Dame-de-Paris – a Part of The French Fate

>Notre-Dame-de-Paris – a Part of The French Fate

On the evening of April 15th, 2019, the world held its breath as the Notre-Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames. A few hours later the centuries-old cathedral had lost its entire roof, spire, and was severely damaged. 

The prime minister of France has announced an international architectural competition to redesign the roofline of Notre Dame Cathedral after this week’s devastating fire. Prime minister Édouard Philippe made the announcement following a special Cabinet held by French President Emmanuel Macron on the reconstruction of cathedral. Philippe said the competition would give the cathedral “a spire suited to the techniques and challenges of our time”. So far, close to one billion dollars have been pledged to rebuild Notre Dame. 

The French Senate has stipulated that Notre-Dame cathedral must be restored exactly how it was before the major fire that damaged the landmark. The law will ensure the cathedral is fully restored in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024, but requires the cathedral be restored to its “last known visual state.” This is in opposition to French president Emmanuel Macron’s call for “an inventive reconstruction.” Nevertheless, one month on from the devastating fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, the architectural community as generated a bounty of responses focusing on the future of the landmark, including very radical ones.

Notre Dame was built over a period of nearly 200 years, starting in the middle of the 12th century, but the lead-covered spire, which reached a height of 93 metres from the ground, was only added in the mid-19th century, during a major restoration project completed by the architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. He wrote: “To restore a building is not to maintain it, repair it or remake it: it is to re-establish it in a complete state which may never have existed at any given moment.” 

Obviously, the same approach was followed by the organizers of the people’s competition for the restoration of the Cathedral, announced by an independent publisher GoArchitect, who are confident that what the Cathedral should be determined by the people. GoArchitect CEO Joshua Sanabria said “Notre-Dame is more than a building; it is a witness to history and a monument that has impacted generations. Notre-Dame was a cathedral for the people, and its future should be influenced by the people. They may choose to restore it exactly as it was or they may choose something else, the important part is that they are given a chance to decide.”

Below, we have rounded up some of the architectural community’s proposals and visions for Notre Dame Cathedral. 

Vincent Callebaut Architectures has unveiled images of their tribute to Notre-Dame Cathedral. A transcendent project that forms a symbol of a resilient and ecological future, the project is inspired by biomimicry and a common ethic for a fairer symbiotic relationship between humans and nature. The Palingenesis project aims to blend in naturally as a single stroke between the roof and spire. From the four gables, the original geometry of the 10-meter-high attic has been respected, with 55-degree pitched roofs gradually stretching to shape a vertical spire. Constructed of cross-laminated timber beams, the scheme’s oak frame seeks to use the minimum amount of material to ensure a low carbon footprint while offering transparency to the cathedral. Atop the spire, the rooster located and found in the rubble will crown the scheme, remaining a “spiritual lightning rod” and “protector of the faithful.”

Central to Callebaut scheme is the idea of turning Notre-Dame into a positive energy building, producing more energy than it consumes. Through energetic solidarity with the body of the historic monument, the contemporary, three-dimensional Gothic stained-glass graft produces the scheme’s energy, heat, and passive ventilation.

The wooden frame is covered in three-dimensional crystal glass subdivided into faceted diamond-shaped elements. Consisting of an organic active layer, this cocktail of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, and oxygen will absorb light and transform it into power. The energy, stored within hydrogen fuel cells, will be directly redistributed throughout the cathedral.

The roof-spire in the cathedral attic also provides a thermal buffer space, which accumulates hot air in winter to better isolate the cathedral, and vents with fresh air in the summer through the evapotranspiration of plants. Thus, the cathedral would become an exemplary eco-engineering structure and the Church a true pioneer in environmental resiliency.

At its heart, the project features a garden devoted to contemplation and meditation. Going beyond aesthetics, the garden is to be cultivated by volunteers and charitable associations. Aquaponics and permaculture produce up to 25kg of fruit and vegetables per square meter per year. Therefore, up to 21 tons of fruits and vegetables could be harvested and directly redistributed for free each year. To that end, a farmers’ market would be held every week on the forecourt of Notre-Dame.

Studio NAB has envisioned a replacement “greenhouse roof.” Described as a cathedral “in green for all,” the project would see the creation of rooftop greenhouse that embraces the reintroduction of biodiversity, education, and solidarity. The Studio NAB scheme “Réflexion” is designed to be “anchored in its time, turned towards the future and representing the stakes of our time.” The greenhouse would enable the professional reintegration of the poor and disenfranchised through education about urban agriculture, horticulture, and permaculture while reconnecting children with nature through educational workshops.

Bees would be reintroduced to the cathedral through a central hive, where beekeeping training would continue the scheme’s ethos of productivity. Burnt oak framework from the fire would be reused in the creation of planters and facilities present in the greenhouse, a symbol of acceptance of the course of history while creating a metaphor between old and new.

Valentino Gareri’s utopian vision offers new domes for the cathedral, with separate functional spaces under each structure. An elevated and weatherproofed park with an overview on the city, a museum with the cathedral relics, a pavilion for exhibitions, a space for orchestral concerts. The domes have always been part of the cathedral as an invisible entity. Now they take shape with this proposal that brings them to life.

After a fire in Notre Dame Cathedral, the famous novel “Notre-Dame de Paris” in its original version rose to the top of the Amazon bestseller list in France, the first historical novel in French, published in 1831. The novel was written by Hugo in order to bring as the main character of the Gothic Cathedral of Paris, which at that time were going to demolish or modernize. Following the release of the novel in France, and then throughout Europe, a movement for the preservation and restoration of Gothic monuments.

The fire in Notre Dame Cathedral in 2019 pained in the hearts of millions of people around the world. Immediately, donations began to come in for his restoration, both from big businessmen and from ordinary people. In just the first half-day of the fundraising, the amount of donations was € 600 million. The council will undoubtedly be restored, because, according to President Macron, this is part of the French fate.