The People's Notre-Dame Design Competition

Alan Paul

United Kingdom

Designer's Description

My proposed design for the new spire is both modern and traditional. It's designed with clean lines and has four angled sides which meet at the top. Each side is perforated with holes and the spire has a hollow centre. The spire is designed open at the bottom in order to allow light through an aperture, straight through the vault onto the altar on the floor below. The inner sides of the spire could be coated with reflective material to increase the amount of light which reaches the floor below. The spire can be floodlit, either externally or internally, using different colours of light which would illumine the altar and floor below. These lights can be switched off during mass or other services.The design makes several references to the existing building by including the basic shapes of circles, pointed arches and triangles. The circles echo the many circular windows in the chancel and apse of the cathedral. The openings cut into the spire include a new shape which may be described as a ‘curved lozenge' and consists of the upper part of a Gothic arch joined to its inversion. The square base of the spire gives a firm foundation for the structure and is visually linked to the cathedral by four brackets at each side which are attached to the ridges of the roof. These are small versions of the flying buttresses which create triangles around the chancel and apse. In conclusion, this design is both contemporary and at the same time forms stylistic links with the building below.

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