The People's Notre-Dame Design Competition

Bernard Mallat, Tamer Musharbesh, Hiba Hteit, Ghida Fayek, Tala Khatib, Georges Eid

Bernard Mallat Architects

Lebanon

Designer's Description

We are shaped by what we endure. It is up to us to find the light in each mishap and disaster. On the 15th of April, 2019, The Notre Dame de Paris Cathedral caught fire resulting in the burning of its roof and spire, devastating millions, whose experience of Paris was fundamentally affected by the presence of the Cathedral. But after each tragic event is an opportunity to learn remember and move forward. We are marked by what we endure. The intent of this proposal is to preserve the voids created by the fire in a way that ensures that the building remains structurally viable and accessible. The ribs, the main structural elements of the roof are to be renovated while leaving the roof above voided. Light will pour into the chorus and transept areas. The scars of the fire will remain apparent on the roof and mark this important incident in the Cathedral’s history. The wounds of Notre-Dame serve as a reminder that nothing remains is permanent. Our buildings and cities age just as we do. Remembering is an essential part of healing. To survive and recover one must remember and believe that the event happened. One must discuss it and express one’s emotions relative to it, understand and mourn it before finally moving on.The intervention on Notre-Dame must allow for this and can only do so by preserving some of the scars of the event. This proposal repairs the roof enough to seal it off from the weather allowing a safe and dry post-traumatic experience of the event on the interior while from the outside people are confronted with a roofless, spire less Cathedral yet one that has survived.

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