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Weird or wonderful? Designs for the new Notre Dame

Design comp sees flood of ideas

An urban farm, a stained glass roof and a tower that shoots a beam of light into the sky are among the designs put forward by architects for the redevelopment of the Notre Dame Cathedral roof and spire, which were destroyed in a fire in April. 


Image ABC / Supplied: Alexandre Fantozzi


Architects were invited to submit their ideas to a design competition announced by French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe in the wake of the incident. And with more than $1.44 billion already donated for its reconstruction, entries are coming in thick and fast for the once-in-a-lifetime honour.


Among the designs to emerge are a glass ceiling with viewing platform, a roof top garden and a spire made out of arches and balls. 


Other ideas include a physical flame (covered in gold), an all-stained glass roof, a sustainable urban farm and even apiaries.



While some ideas will be more viable than others, Sydney School of Architecture heritage conservation program director Cameron Logan has warned against proposals that would be geared towards the internet age and Instagram. 


"Any moment like this — where there's a great international interest in architecture — presents an opportunity for someone who may not be well known to get an idea out there that is very Instagram-friendly," Dr Logan told the ABC.



"They can have their speculative design go viral irrespective of any serious engagement with the place and its ongoing life.”


French President Emmanuel Macron has stated that he wants the project to be completed by the 2024 Paris Olympics.   



Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 21 May 2019

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