The People's Notre-Dame Design Competition

Noémie Schweisguth

France

Designer's Description

Wind CathedralNotre-Dame de Paris is a world heritage offering a unique architectural experience of the 12th and 19th centuries. Following the April 15, 2019, disaster and the entire loss of the roof and spire, how to rebuild the monument has become a center stage question. While rebuilding exactly as it was, i.e. following a 19th century design, is an easy answer, I would argue that loss is best overcome by reinventing the cathedral with a contemporary mind. I am convinced that sustainability is one of the most important issue that faces our generation. I therefore develop a project around that main idea and imagined how spiritual forces and sustainability could be visually integrated. My project aims at keeping similar proportions and key geometries of the old roof and iconic spire such that the emblematic silhouette of Notre-Dame de Paris will be preserved and that the latter will still be easily recognized by everyone.Firstly, I wonder how to make a new spire that would be more than a tower ? I propose a wind turbine. It keeps the shape of the slender spire but in a contemporary and sustainable spirit. The wind will create a circular motion of the turbine that gives a new dimension to Notre-Dame. The current cathedral looks largely static, particularly because of the predominance of stone materials. With this new spire, the renovated cathedral will gain in dynamics, and will become a moving and changing building, as a reflection of our time. As an aside, the wind turbine will generate power to illuminate the cathedral at night.Secondly, I address how to build a roof that is more than a zinc roof ? Keeping in mind a main issue of our time, sustainability of our planet, the roof could be imagined as a place to reinstate bees and vegetation at the center of Paris. I therefore propose to introduce, it take hundreds of wood alveoli which will allow beehives installation. The arch shape of the alveoli fits with the style of the cathedral. The arches have different sizes, for different purposes : large ones will be used for the vegetation, mid-size ones will host the beehives and small ones will be used for the illumination of the cathedral at night. Plants, flowers and insects will create a small ecosystem at the top of the cathedral. Finally, an observation deck on the ridge will be built on the ridge, allowing beekeepers to take care of the hives and offering tourists with the most beautiful view of Paris !

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