The People's Notre-Dame Design Competition

Dr. Cuong Phu Nguyen and Mrs. Nga Thi Hang Nguyen

United Kingdom

Designer's Description

"La Cascade De Lumières – The Waterfall of Light"The tragic image of Notre-Dame Cathedral Spire, that collapsed on April 15th, 2019, is still fresh in people's minds. The symbol of Paris and France with more than 850 years of history, engulfed in flames and smoke, leaves not only the people of France but also the world in pain and despair.Miraculously, the church survived despite the damage, as the cruel fire did not destroy the entire building. This miracle inspired us to bring the main idea into our design: Life, Strength and Revival.To convey this idea, we thought of the two main elements: Water and Light. A waterfall falling from the sky symbolises life and healing, soothing all wounds. Isn't the cycle of water also representing the wonderful cycle of life on earth? A "waterfall of light" in the darkness reminds us of the miracle and love of God, which brings us closer to Him and the Notre-Dame back to life.The idea of a cascade of Water and Light: clear, soft, shimmering and colourful, transformable to all forms, creates a harmonious combination between the new and the old. Moreover, the unique design will instil in everyone the aesthetic inspiration and hope for good things.Restoring the original roof and spire would cost up to 1300 large oak trees to build. This is not ideal due to the environmental and sustainability concerns of our society. As well as this, the old roof had been inaccessible from the public and could only be seen from far away. Our unique design will still maintain the scale and proportion of the old roof and the spire to create harmony with the existing features. However, it will offer a new light and transparent structure, that is completely open to the public. An art gallery, with windows and fountains along both sides and above, and a central waterfall, a sight-seeing tower as the focal point, will bring people wonderful experiences inside and outside of the building, day and night. Therefore, we named our work: "The Waterfall of Light". It is a gift from our hearts sent to Paris, the City of Light.

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