April 15th will be always remembered in history as the dramatic day the Notre-Dame went up in flames and one of Paris symbolic places – a 12th century cathedral – lost its spire. It wasn’t a part of the original structure, but it was integrated later, in a 19th century restoration project. Nonetheless, Paris and the world on the whole lost a piece of their history. Now, French prime minister Edouard Philippe announced the idea of an international architectural competition to redesign a new spire: not a simple rebuilding of the old 90 metre-spire – even if the copper figures that were part of the assemble were airlifted days before the fire happened – but one that would be “adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era”. Many architecture firms and professionals have already proposed their ideas (some of them are really wild!) and surely, they are going to spark some incensed responses or even outrage all over Paris and the world. Are you ready to know more about THE 8 CONTROVERSIAL NOTRE-DAME PROPOSALS? Let’s begin!
THE 8 CONTROVERSIAL NOTRE-DAME PROPOSALS
The Italian duo at the head of Studio Fuksas, Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas, delivered their proposal based on an equilibrium between modern and ancient style: a very high pinnacle made of Baccarat crystal – the same that will give shape to the roof – that will be lighted at night in a breath-taking spectacle. “The new element will be a beacon of hope for the future in the night of Paris”.
The French designer Mathieu Lehanneur, renowned for his enchanted works spacing between design, art, and science, decided to turn into stone the dramatic events of last April: “In a provocative way, I proposed to rebuild the spire as it was, following the most conservative people, but as it was last week” said Lehanneur. A rendition of the engulfing flames, surely spectacular in their beauty, would be a reminder of the dreadful day, turning it into art.
KISS THE ARCHITECT
This singular architectural firm founded by Cypriot architect Dakis Panayiotou tried with a more incisive possibility of giving Notre-Dame a new façade: their suggestion takes another project of them – A Foolish Folly – made of a staircase supported by arches and balls and put it on top of the cathedral’s roof.
Slovakian Vizumatelier’s proposal tried to channel the same mindset of gothic builders: trying to reach the sky with their buildings. The firm managed to bring its own idea with a beam of light shooting right into the sky from a lightweight tower. A simple but full of significance choice among The 8 controversial Notre-Dame proposals!
Brasilian AJ6 Studio tried to return back to the past with their stained-glass proposal: instead of the spire, they imagine a perfect rendition of the ancient colored glass that embellishes churches all over the world with the addition of the most recent technology. A perfect mix of modern and ancient!
Another among those who prefer to utilize glass is Russian architect Alexander Nerovnya but its vision is the only one to include a spire. “When people come to see the cathedral, they will feel a powerful connection to the history seeing the ancient and the modern parts together”.
For French artist and architect David Deroo “a middle ground should be reached between acknowledging the past and bringing the innovation of our time” and that’s what he proposes: a similar rendition of the roof and the spear but with a modern outlook.
ULF MEJERGREN ARCHITECTS
The most outrageous proposal among the ones in our The 8 controversial Notre-Dame proposals is the one submitted by Ulf Mejergren Architects. The firm has thought of eliminating both the idea of a new spire and the led-clad roof to focus the attention on bell towers, buttresses and rose windows. The aim will be to create a “meditative public space; a complementary spatial experience to the building with unmatched views over Paris”. According to their model, the public pool will be guarded by the twelve apostle statues that were spared from the fire’s destruction. Surely, the most provocative of our list!
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