The People's Notre-Dame Design Competition

Georgiana Cristina DUMITRU

Romania

Designer's Description

Unfortunately, what happened to the Cathedral affected all of us, people from any domain but especially us, architects, as people who can observe spaces, buildings and events, from different points of view. I felt attached from Notre Dame Cathedral since I was preparing myself for University submission and I chose it as subject of drawing as a big challenge for the complexity of her details.Now, my design points an approach as a matter of volumetric shape and how this will respond to this tragic event. Starting from the big tower that collapsed, the first thing that I observed was the emptiness. As air is free there now, I wanted to “catch” the sky from the roof in one point by leading the geometry of the ridge from the upper point of the existing that is reserved to the lowest point, in the center, from every each side. Doing this I wanted to create a point in the roof where the pressure can be felt and passing by this point you can feel closer to God. Using smoked glass for this approach, you can easily read the past events but in the same time the heat and the sun exposure wouldn’t be too much for visitors. As a structure for this glass proposal,\ I saw that a triangular theme can create a wonderful covering with wide openings, but in the same time, can keep and sustain the Gothic elegance with what is characterized, by using thin elements on the intervention. Despite the light aspect, this structure can be very rigid if is reinforced on the inside of the rectangular pipes, by using cables placed inside of the structural element and assuring rigidity with tension applied on them. This idea can assure low weight at the entire assemble proposed, due to the recent affirmation that the lateral walls are not as rigid how they used to be before the incident. The idea is meant to relieve another floor above the old vaults. For the floor, beside the transversal metallic elements that are connecting the entire contour of the roof, on the main axis, I think that the free movement in the center of the roof will recreate the first floor path and showing what the time is teaching us. The finish layer of floor is made of recycled plastic that is meant to reduce the noise produced by passing on this metallic assemble and in the same time to come in contrast of materials, marking in this manner, these two periods of construction. By presenting this proposal, I wanted that every elements, through their nature and placement, to “speak” in different ways, the same story of the Cathedral.

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