17 Artists Suggested Their Own Ideas For The Notre Dame Cathedral Reconstruction

Published 5 years ago

Back on April 15, Paris suffered a disaster that touched the hearts of many Parisians and other people worldwide – the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire, a 15-hour-long inferno that destroyed a big part of the cathedral’s roof along with its iconic spire. However, most of the building survived the fire and people from all over the world have donated money to help rebuild it. And while many believe that the cathedral should be rebuilt to its original state, some artists are offering their own unique ideas for the reconstruction.

A few days after the fire, France decided to host a design competition for the cathedral’s spire replacement. Edouard Philippe, the prime minister of France, said that they were looking for a fresh look “adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era”. Many artists responded to this competition and you can see some of the most interesting projects in the gallery below!


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Image source: ejezeta.cl


Image source: Vincent Callebaut Architectures

In his project called ‘Palingenesis’, architect Vincent Callebaut tried to combine science, art, and spirituality into one beautiful glass creation. The architect imagined a garden under the glass exterior that would serve as both aesthetic and nourishing purposes. “Transparency, sharing and openness to our society’s development: such are the ideas conveyed by this new, diaphanous forest of Notre-Dame, outlining the new face of the Church in the 21st century. A dynamic, agile and contemporary Church,” says the architect.


Image source: studio NAB

Studio NAB propose a greenhouse on top of the cathedral and even beehives inside the spire.


Image source: studiotjoa

“Our Proposal for the new roof and spire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris: A Phoenix rises from the ashes. The spire, clad in sand cast copper panels, emerges from the blackened stainless steel roof supported by flame charred glulam trusses in remembrance of what was and what can become.”


Image source: summumarchi

“A proposal by summumarchi gives access to Notre Dame’s attic to make it a commemorative park, with purple colors in memory of the fire, while taking advantage of this enormous generosity of donations to make it a sanctuary for animals and insects even more threatened in cities. May this reconstruction serve the environment, and demonstrate to the rest of the world the knowledge of our French companions of how to deal with magnificent, technical, timeless architecture at the highest level possible. A symbol for future generations.”


Image source: honored_art

“Upward motion, an idea of mine for Notre Dame’s spire”


Image source: Norman Foster

Architect Norman Foster says his spire design resembles a “super-slender needle touching heaven’s clouds” and supposedly would give the structure more light.


Image source: alex_nerovnya


Image source: godart_roussel_architectes

“This subject is very sensitive for reasons that are easily understood. The wood that the construction was made out of as well as its assemblages and age make it a remarkable and honorable creation. It is hard to imagine that there would be another option than rebuilding the identical roof structure and the roof by using all the documents we have. Just like the castle of Guédelon, that is being rebuilt using the knowledge of our ancestors, Notre-Dame de Paris could also become a huge open-air educational project. In a few decades, this tragic episode would fade and as a result we would have a brand new roof of the Cathedral. But if we think about it, would we really be satisfied with this result? What other pleasure would we find besides that of comforting us in the certainty that everything is eternal?”


Image source: fuksas_architects



Image source: alexandre_fantozzi

“Our proposal for the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral is to use one element that it has the best, the stained glass.

Make all the cover in stained glass, including the tower, with transparency to the inner side, through the opening of the vaults, leaving only the structures flying buttresses.

In Gothic there is the connection of the earth to the sky, and inside the Cathedral, the natural illumination multiplies in colors through the filter of the cover in stained glass.

At night the inner illumination turns into a grandiose retro backlit coverage.”


Image source: mathieulehanneur

“Some say that we should rebuild the spire as it was originally. Others say that we should design a new one. So, let’s build a new one as it was… 8 days ago”


Image source: poa.estudio

“NOUVELLE DAME – Proposal for a new cover of Notre Dame, París”


Image source: deroodavid

“Today the French architecture board website reads, ’Heritage, ancient or contemporary, is a revealing and structuring element of our culture, and we must inculcate ourselves to keep alive these markers but also built today the markers of our time’.Ultimately, I trust in France’s cultural core and its decision makers to have the audacity to move forward while retaining The Lady’s timeless image. I can only hope the project will be humble but innovative, delicate, beautiful and engaged,created by highly skilled people around a common table.”



Image source: alexandre_fantozzi

“A single element used, stained glass. No new architectural features, no intervention elements (redesign), no ego, no artistic aspirations.

The material specified for this, stained glass, is made of a high-tech glass produced by a renowned and traditional French factory. The glasses have sun protection, without changing the desired aesthetic.

The windows offer greater thermal comfort inside the Cathedral, greater natural light, reduces external noise.”


Image source: vizumatelier

“It’s a tragedy. Nothing would ever return over 850 years of beauty, but it’s time to [rebirth] Notre-Dame. In Gothic times builders [tried] to reach the sky, Le Duc [tried] it also in 19th century and have come closer. Now it’s possible to make it happen. Lightweight crown that connects heaven with earth.”


Image source: kissthearchitect

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cathedral design, France, notre dame, Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, redesign, reimagination, restoration, roof design, spire, spire design
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