Apple Store designer envisions rebuilding Notre-Dame using glass
Following the blaze that damaged the iconic Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, the French Prime Minister announced plans for an architecture competition and a modern redesign. We've since reported on one interesting proposal from Vincent Callebaut Architectures and now comes another, courtesy of Eight Inc., which envisions rebuilding the spire and roof using glass.
Eight Inc. proposes to restore the Notre-Dame's roof and spire back to its previous condition but using glass. All the decorative flourishes including statues would be recreated, and it would be illuminated at night, lending it a really striking appearance. According to Dezeen, the firm, which designed the original Apple Stores, proposes to make use of structural glass to allow it to be built without supports ruining the transparent effect.
The use of tough structural glass makes obvious sense and would mean that it shouldn't be damaged by deliberate vandalism like thrown stones, nor from a hailstorm, for example, though more significant challenges would be its weight, cost, and getting planning permission, not to mention its construction.
Such concerns seem beyond the scope of this proposal though, and as far as we know there are no plans to build it. And even if the architects decide take the project further, it still remains to be seen what form the Notre-Dame will eventually take.
In the months since the French government announced its design competition and five year deadline to rebuild the Notre-Dame cathedral, there has followed something of a backlash, including an open letter signed by over a thousand academics and curators arguing that more time should be taken. The French Senate then met and made a ruling to the effect that the cathedral must be restored to exactly how it was.
"I confirm that the French Senate has decided that the Cathedral has to be rebuilt as it looked just before the fire and that a report must be published if the constructor wants to change the materials used before the fire," a French Senate representative told New Atlas.
Talks have been held to see if a compromise can be reached between the Senate's demand for the cathedral to be restored to its original state and Macron's government wishing for an all-new design, but as of writing they have been unsuccessful.
Source: Eight Inc.
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If you want cool, modern-looking buildings, then build cool, modern-looking buildings . . . from scratch.
While the French are considering the rebuild, I sincerely encourage them to grace the two western towers with real spires, at long last, which was surely the intent of Notre Dame's medieval designers. Great cathedrals were not meant to have truncated pylons as their facade. The spires were usually the last phase of the construction process, and when you see a cathedral without them, it is because the builders ran out of resources before they could complete them...
Now that a competition has been announced, design firms are lining up with proposals not so much because it's the best outcome of a tragedy, but probably because it would give them prestige. It's not a given that the public will approve of the rebuild either. Should it be done in a traditional method or something flashy, outrageous, modern?...Sacre bleu!
Knowing the French, this issue will become emotional and controversial. Stay tuned.