Since the devastating tragedy in April this year, there are a lot of ideas from all over the world how best to restore the ancient cathedral.
Brazil based architect Alexandre Fantozzi has proposed to rebuild the roof using stained glass, to give the structure a lighter, brighter feeling while staying true to the original Gothic style.
Stockholm based firm Ulf Mejergren Architects, who describe themselves as “adventurous,” are even suggesting a swimming pool roof to replace the highly flammable medieval timber. Certainly a fun idea, but perhaps not what the French historians have in mind?
One Parisian architectural firm is proposing to lead the charge by turning Notre Dame into a modernised, eco-cathedral complete with a solar powered roof and urban farm. Is there perhaps no better way to commemorate a loss than by transforming the remains into something sustainable that will benefit the environment?
The architect proposing such a leap is Vincent Callebaut, who wants to project the building towards a “desirable future” by advocating a complete rebirth of the cathedral. As such, the project is called Palingenesis, meaning ‘regeneration’ in Greek and would involve the construction of a strong oak frame and carbon fibre slats, to minimise the amount of construction materials and maximise space for light to shine through the solar glass roof.
Supposedly, ‘photovoltaic crystals’ in the roof containing carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen would absorb light and transform it into power to be stored in hydrogen fuel cells. So, crucially, the new Notre Dame Cathedral would end up producing more energy than it consumes, and therefore be energy-positive.
Vincent Callebaut Architects outline that their project represents the ‘symbiotic relationship between humans and nature’.