The People's Notre-Dame Design Competition

Mitali Juneja

India

Designer's Description

The Guiding Light On 15th April 2019 one of the most beautiful and magnificent buildings went up in flames, the roof and the famous spire collapsed. Even in an event of destruction the cathedral acted as a beacon of hope and brought people together to save and restore the building.Notre-Dame might have been built as a cathedral but today it is more than just a religious building. It is beloved by all irrespective of their religion, creed and believes. The building is a place of refuge, solace and guidance.The architectural experience of the Gothic churches is the mystery they created by the use of light. Natural light is what gives life to the building when it passes through the stained-glass windows. The careful balance of light and dark makes the building come to life. The architecture of the roof should reflect the  period it would be built in to add a new dimension of architecture to enhance the  existing experience of the building, by using technology that was unavailable in the era it was built in.

THE ROOF

In my proposal, the roof would be made of glass that reflects light, so that during the day the sunlight gets reflected almost like a mirage in the hot summer sun as can be seen in the ‘Street View’. While from the inside the roof doesn't let any light in, keeping dance of the stained-glass windows alive. During the night the light from the inside of the church is let out from the roof lighting up the city as shown in the ‘Aerial View’. From the inside the glass roof will seem to disappear into the starry night, forming a roof made of the stars cascading over a deep dark night sky as Depicted in the ‘North star’.

THE SPIRE

The spire itself is an architectural marvel and is an important marker of the time when the church was built. It should be recreated as close to the original as possible, as all our hearts sank when the spire fell. That being said I would like to see the spire be topped with a conical light that acts like the guiding start for the entire city, giving it a new life during the night as seen in the “Aerial View’.The legacy of the cathedral will always live on in our hearts. I am hopeful that the building would be even more beloved once restored, as long as we maintain a balance between the old and the new. Creating new experiences while respecting and recreating the experience the church was built for. The story of Notre-Dame shall always evolve with time, giving us and the future generations to come guidance and hope.

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