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. While some have taken the opportunity to re-imagine the purpose of the monument, from urban farming to recreational parkland, others have focused on sensitive restoration.
Notre Dame: The Latest Architecture and News
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On the evening of April 15th, 2019 the world held its breath as the Notre-Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames. A few hours after the fire begun, the centuries-old cathedral had lost its entire roof, spire, and was severely damaged by the flames. Thankfully it was not completely destroyed and many priceless artifacts from the interior were saved.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures has unveiled images of their tribute to Notre-Dame Cathedral following the fire that badly damaged the historic structure. 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.
This article was originally published on CommonEdge as "Notre-Dame and the Questions It Raises About Sacred Space."
Foster + Partners have joined a series of design offices that will enter the international competition to design a replacement spire for Notre Dame Cathedral. As reported by The Times, Foster has said that the new addition can be focused around "light" for the cathedral’s ruined roof. After the fire partially destroyed the iconic cathedral, France now aims to move forward with plans to renovate the iconic structure.
French architect Dominique Perrault has shared his thoughts after this week's devastating fire of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Best known for his design of the French National Library, Perrault has had a hand in many projects across France, including work in 2015 studying the means of ensuring the continued urban centrality of the Île de la Cité, in collaboration with Philippe Belaval, President of the Center for National Monuments. ArchDaily has published Perrault's statement in full, outlining the architect's response to the Notre Dame fire.
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.
For almost a millennium, Notre-Dame Cathedral has stood proudly on Paris’ central Île de la Cité, a symbol of the city’s history, culture, and romanticism. On Monday, April 15th, 2019, thousands who lined the banks of the Seine and millions more across the world watched on in a mixture of disbelief, heartbreak, and helplessness as the Gothic masterpiece burned before their eyes.
The fire has fortunately not claimed any lives but has robbed the landmark of its 19th-century spire, roof, and potentially priceless stained glass windows and interior ornamentation and artwork. At the time of writing, it appears that the main structure of Notre-Dame Cathedral has been saved and preserved, owed to the efforts of 500 firefighters deployed to the disaster.
One day after the fire that partially destroyed the iconic Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, we are left to look back at the night of unfolding devastation, and forward at plans to renovate and restore the structure back to its former glory. The 856-year-old structure, which has survived riots, wars, and revolutions, sustained major damage as fire destroyed its central spire, 66% of its roof, and parts of its vaulted interior. Despite the alarming images and videos of the Gothic masterpiece ablaze, it appears that the main structure, and much of the interior, has escaped destruction.
While a full investigation into the cause of the fire will likely take some time, new details continue to emerge on the course of the blaze, and initiatives from the public and private sector to fund the cathedral’s restoration. Below, we recap the timeline that unfolded on the evening of April 15th, before detailing the plans to recover a building emblematic of the history of its city and country.
Broken gargoyles and fallen balustrades replaced by plastic pipes and wooden planks. Flying buttresses darkened by pollution and eroded by rainwater. Pinnacles propped up by beams and held together with straps.
According to the Friends of Notre-Dame de Paris, the iconic Parisian cathedral is in "desperate need of attention." Perhaps more concerningly, the holy site and French national monument is also in "a worrisome state of preservation." Built of limestone—a material notoriously susceptible to erosion—the building is in an accelerating state of wear-and-tear, demanding renewed funding efforts and expertise to secure its immediate and long-term future. From the lead roof to the stone buttresses, the world-renowned gargoyles to the stained glass windows, every inch of the structure requires differing levels of attention.
This article was originally published by Common Edge as "It’s a Book. It’s a Building. It’s a Behavioral Intervention!"
A few years ago, while visiting, or rather exploring, Notre-Dame, the author of this book found, in an obscure corner of one of the towers, this word carved upon the wall:
These Greek characters, black with age, and cut deep into the stone with the peculiarities of form and arrangement common to Gothic calligraphy that marked them the work of some hand in the Middle Ages, and above all the sad and mournful meaning which they expressed, forcibly impressed the author.