The People's Notre-Dame Design Competition

JASON LE MARE

United Kingdom

Designer's Description

In 1762 Paris born architect Auguste Pugin, visited and sketched many of Paris’ famous buildings, particularly buildings built in the Gothic style such as Notre-Dame. In 1798 Pugin moved to England and forged a career in architecture. In 1812 his son Augustus Welby Pugin was born. A Catholic, he had become very talented in drawing and like his father grown to become interested in Gothic architecture. By 1836 he wrote a book called ‘Contrasts’, whereby he compared two buildings on each page. One building would normally depict a classical or monolithic building for which Pugin was against and the other would show a Gothic building for which he believed to be the correct style and the way that the building or monument should look.In this way, I have reflected Pugin’s ‘contrasts’ by presenting on the left of each page, the typical ‘glass’ answer to the restoration of Notre-Dame, for which may of the entries for this competition are bound to show. One the right, however, is the answer…the original Gothic style design re-built as it was, but with a modern influence.Of course, the new Gothic spire and roof, could utilise modern materials, one for cost and two for appearance.When damage in this way has occurred to old buildings, we are always left with the question; Do we re-build as it was or make something modern? There is a divide in opinion between conservation experts and organisations of what should be done. Even though this does present the opportunity to do something different entirely, on the face of the building, we could make it look original, but inside at the very heart of the Cathedral, it could enable people to explore the spire, the roof and venture up close to the beautiful stonework. Ultimately, this entry is an opinion rather than a proposal, but I think there are many opportunities to build a glass skyscraper or a glass house with trees elsewhere, but not here, in a place of worship. If something entirely different (not that I am against modern buildings) was made, it would alter the image of Notre-Dame to something unrecognisable.

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