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Final Design For Notre-Dame Revealed

Tim Gibson

20 July 2020

AFTER more than a year of speculation, French president Emmanuel Macron has confirmed that the Notre-Dame spire will be rebuilt exactly the same as it was before.

A devastating fire destroyed much of the cathedral in 2019, including the 93-metre-high Eugène Viollet-le-Duc spire which was added in 1859. The cathedral itself was built in the 13th century.

Above: A fire in April 2019 destroyed much of the famous cathedral.

The destruction of the original spire spurred on the world’s architects, many of whom shared their own take on how the iconic structure should be rebuilt.

Alexandre Fantozzi suggested a restoration made entirely of stained glass, while Studio NAB designed a greenhouse that would sit on the cathedral’s roof.

There were plans for a swimming pool, a spire that would soar hundreds of metres into the sky, and an abstract interpretation of the fire itself that would sit as a statue on the roof.

Above: A three-dimensional crystal glass canopy was proposed as a way to draw the ideas of art, science and spirituality together ( image courtesy of Vincent Callebaut).

Above: Another proposal would have seen the roof of Notre-Dame transformed into a greenhouse (image courtesy of Studio NAB).

Above: A public swimming pool was suggested (image courtesy of UMA).

Above: The roof of Notre-Dame as a commemorative park, providing a sanctuary for animals and insects threatened by urban life ( image courtesy of Summumarchi).

Above: The roof and spire made entirely of stained glass (image courtesy of Alexandre Fantozzi)

Above: A permanent flame on top of the building (image courtesy of Mathieu Lehanneur).

Above: Similar to New York's 9/11 beam of light, a Notre-Dame whose spire shines a light into the heavens (image courtesy of Vizum Atelier).

Above: An abstract reinterpretation of the spire (image courtesy of Kiss the Architect).

Macron had originally stated that he wanted the new Notre-Dame to be inventive and even more beautiful than it was before.

However, a bill passed last year by the French Senate dictated the restoration must be in keeping to its “last known visual state”.

Macron has also insisted the cathedral be restored within five years, so that it is ready for the 2024 Paris Olympics. More than a thousand architecture experts have signed an open letter urging the president to reconsider and allow for a longer time scale.

Above: The iconic cathedral will be restored exactly as it was before the fire.

A survey of the French people found that more than half wanted Notre-Dame restored exactly as before, while only a quarter supported a contemporary interpretation.

Construction on the restored spire is expected to begin shortly.

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