The People's Notre-Dame Design Competition

Yung Sai Chun

Studio of SAI

Hong Kong

Designer's Description

ROOF of MIST

A spire of a cathedral is historically seen as a symbol of piety, but also representing the wealth of the patron. With the challenge of re-designing the ruined roof for Notre Dame de Paris, we would like to design a roof representing the people. Instead of giving the roof a definite shape, we propose a roof that made of mist that represents the collective aspiration. The roof is made of three components: a high-pressure nozzles system, series of triangular frames made of burnt wood, and a steel hanging bridge on top of a glass floor. The nozzles system serves double function as fire-prevention and a social engagement device.  It is connected to the city‚ A voting system will regulate the pressure of the ejection at different zones according to the response from citizens. The voting system would be operating through apps and Internet platform.

The coverage and density of the mist would be changed with human participation. Not only a symbol for piety, we hope the new roof could also be a symbol of encouragement for people to engage with the society. Although it is a tremendous loss for the roof of this important monument being destroyed in the fire, we would like to see this as an opportunity for the cathedral to evolve positively; and thus this fire shall not be an urban amnesia.  In respect of the original timber structural, a forest on the roof, timber frames are laid according to the original pattern but sublimed into a better weather resistant material charred wood cedar in memorial of the event of fire. Name of people who has contributed to the re-building of the cathedral will be engraved on the wood. The triangular frame will support a hanging bridge that allows people to experience and walk through the misty roof. The glass floor will also reveal the original stone vaulted ceiling of the Gothic church for people to understand more the beauty of the architecture.

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