The People's Notre-Dame Design Competition

Tal Senior, architects

Israel

Designer's Description

Notre-Dame Roof – a Flower and plants FarmA large central spire accommodates a grand copper staircase, which leads to a viewing platform 26 meters above the level of the roof. The viewing platform will enable spectacular views of the surrounding city quarter and views of the Notre-Dame Cathedral new roof structure Architecture. The stairs carry the tradition of legendary staircases built within great cathedral roofs, which enable the public to ascend to substantial heights for viewing the city and experiencing the cathedral and its architecture.The massive enormous continuous space under the Notre-Dame new roof will contain a Flower and small Plants Farm, a grand Contemplation space between trees and a high level-viewing Platform in the spire. The Flower Farm is organized like a chessboard through which people walk. Each space of the four spaces which make the grand continuous roof space will contain vegetation and flowers with a specific theme. Movement within the chessboard field will resemble a game of chess where the player tries to avoid obstacles, surprises and challenges on his way forward.The design uses three basic and materials: Timber, Glass and Concrete as primary elements. A copper staircase accentuates the central space of the spire and adds a sparkle to create alchemy of materials within the space. Massive timber trusses secured to a concrete frame support large systems of glass sheets containing ventilation openings and shading elements embedded into the glass to produce optimum comfort and ideal conditions for growing the flowers and plants. The grand transparent timber and glass pitched roof reflects the memory of the Old Notre Dame pitched roof burnt in the fire and acts as a contrast to the cathedral’s opaque heavy stone walls. The transparency of the glass invites the public to the cathedral and allows the penetration of the viewer into the grand roof space from different positions in the city.The large glass spire and massive glass roof give the cathedral a significant presence in Paris, however both are also meant to look as a minimal design as possible in the landscape and to almost disappear into the clouds. Perhaps linking heaven and earth. Floor ventilation shafts will cool the space and circulate air during hot summer days in order to provide ideal condition within the roof space. Direct sunlight will warm the space during winter and provide the sufficient light needed for the flowers and plants.

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