The People's Notre-Dame Design Competition

Ruben Marais, Marius Marais, Barry Marais, Warren Erasmus

Marais4 architects

South Africa

Designer's Description

In taking up this challenge, Marais 4 Architects had to find a balance between recapturing the timeless elegance and beauty of the original centuries old design and finding a new technological solution that can take it into a new realm that embodies the aspirations of the younger french generations.Like the Louvre, the Notre Dame is an icon of French society and culture and it provided part the impetus to the contemporary solution that we came up with.Although widely criticized at first the Louvre has now crept into the hearts and minds of even the staunchest French critiques. Similarly we believe our design will stand the test of time.We all cried and sang together, united at the feet of this glorious monument as she went up in flames. Praying that the priceless artifacts and structure will remain to inspire civilizations to come, but now we have to face the fact that a new age has dawned.New modern materials have opened the door for us to introduce more natural light into the cathedral which would not only create a new airy feeling inside but lead to a whole new experience of the church on a physical and spiritual level.As we were united by the dramatic austerity of the original Le-Duc design we know the people of Paris will stand united once more to see through the construction of the new revived Notre Dame.Technological advances In products like frameless safety glazing has allowed us to replace the heavy tiled roof with a lightweight curtainwall design which allows for much more natural light whilst still providing a cooler energy efficient solution to save power and enhance lighting levels naturally while reducing the running cost of the power consumption, setting the scene for others to follow suit, and to work together to save our environment, especially in light of the record temperatures recorded in recent studies in france.Energy efficient strip lights will be visible through out the night, emphasizing the elegant skyline and features like the flying buttresses by way of photo voltaic panels incorporated in the roof, as well as to provide LED lighting inside the cathedral.At night time a beam of light will shine vertically into the sky to create not only a landmark visible from all over the city of lights,Paris, but a beacon of hope to all who can observe it.Although our initial designs were quite elaborate and ultra modern, the approach was scaled down to incorporate the feelings and cultural dignity and longing for the original design of this great masterpiece.We trust that the design will be pleasing and usher in a futuristic solution that still identifies with the larger public.Yours sincerely,The Marais 4 Architects team.

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