5 thought-provoking proposed modern designs for Notre-Dame

Now that the dust has cleared from the tragic fire of April 15, designers and architects have begun to tinker with their ideas for what Notre Dame—and the skyline of Paris—could look like sporting a new spire and roof, different from the familiar 19th-century ones of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. While not official submissions to any contest (which is not open yet), these designs echo the interplay between light and divinity and heaven-reaching elements of original Gothic architecture. Innovative, iconoclastic, optimistic, or futuristic, here are some of the most thought-provoking designs for Notre-Dame's new spire.

"Notre Dame de la Nature"

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Notre Dame en 2024 Quel sens y-a-t-il à couper l'équivalent de 20 ha de forêt de chêne qui nécessiteront des années de séchage ? Quel sens y-a-t-il à dépenser des millions pour reconstruire une charpente qui ne se visite pas ? Affirmons l'infinie résilience de Notre-Dame avec un jardin, un lieu de biodiversité et de recueillement, en hommage aux milliers d’espèces animales et végétale que nous faisons disparaitre, et qui sont autant que nous des créatures divines s’il en est. Et des gargouilles à tête de dodo, rhinocéros blanc, et autres espèces éteintes ou en danger #lessismore #notredame #biodiversity #legacy #lhistoiresécritauprésent Scraping huge surfaces of oak trees to build the same roof structure as in the XIII century ? Wait a few years to get those to dry ? Spend millions over a structure that barely no one has a chance to visit ? Let's rather expand the attraction and resilience of Europe's most visited monument with a garden, dedicated to all the species of animals and plants that we have been erasing off the planet. All those are creatures of God as well indeed, if so.

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Clément Willemin, of French design company BASE Paris, reimagines Notre Dame as a futuristic Eden as a nod to the thousands of ancient timber beams that once formed the “Forest” of Notre Dame’s roof. Willemin envisions the gargoyles hewn into the shape of dodos, white rhinos and other extinct or endangered species as a comment to conservation.

"Notre Dame de la Flamme"

Designer Mathieu Lehanneur unveiled a design conceived as an intentional provocation to underline his disagreement with recontstructing the 19th century design: a massive flame in carbon fiber and gold leaf, a permanent testament to the cathedral’s trial by fire. Lehanneur later decided he was really drawn the flame motif, citing Christian themes: “the flame is actually a very strong symbol in the bible…it’s powerful.” Lehanneur’s incendiary design testifies to Notre-Dame’s enduring spirit, from the trials of the Revolution and 19th century to the violence of WWII.

"Notre Dame de Verre"

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"PALINGENESIS, TRIBUTE TO NOTRE-DAME" advocates for an exemplary project in ecological engineering that feels true to its time and avoids a pastiche architecture that turns the city into an open-air museum. Circular economy, renewable energies, inclusive social innovation, urban agriculture farm, protection of biodiversity, without forgetting beauty and spiritual elevation: our design proposal feeds on such values to deliver a deep, conscious meaning. From primitive Gothic in the 12th century to its restoration by Viollet-le Duc in the 19th century , through the radiant Gothic of the 13th century and the flamboyant Gothic of the 14th century, Notre-Dame cathedral undoubtedly arises from centuries of work and multi-faceted inspiration. As such, it is hardy encumbered by useless musings about the overlapping styles inherent in the building. Each wave of time contributes its alluvium, each race deposits its layer on the monument, each individual brings his stone. Thus do the beavers, thus do the bees, thus do people. Victor Hugo • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1831) . . . Click on the link in our bio to discover the projet in details ☝️☝️☝️ . . . #notredame #notredamedeparis #notredamecathedral #paris #parisfrance #rebuildnotredame #circulareconomy #crosslaminatedtimber #woodenstructure #clt #solarglass #photovoltaic #renewableenergy #climatechange #urbanfarming #garden #spirituality #ecological #urbanagriculture #biodiversity #socialinnovation #beauty #gothic #forest #victorhugo #catholic #tribute #green

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Belgian architect Vincent Callebaut’s design is meant to act as a bridge between the past and future, humans and nature. Translating classic elements of Gothic design (soaring spires, graceful support systems, light-welcoming-glass) with ecological touches (the design is meant to produce more energy than it consumes while supporting an arable garden), Callebaut hopes that with this design “Notre-Dame will dazzle the world again while amplifying her universal message of peace and her spiritual aspiration.”

"Notre Dame de la Lumière"

Vizum Atelier, a Slovakian-based design company, has perhaps the most high-reaching concept: a tower beaming a light towards the heaven, a 21st century attempt at the Gothic goal to reach as close as possible to God.

"Notre Dame des Couleurs"

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"La Couronne Divine" @yuriytitarev "Our proposal for the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral is to use one element that it has the best, the stained glass. Make all the cover in stained glass, including the tower, with transparency to the inner side, through the opening of the vaults, leaving only the structures flying buttresses. In Gothic there is the connection of the earth to the sky, and inside the Cathedral, the natural illumination multiplies in colors through the filter of the cover in stained glass. At night the inner illumination turns into a grandiose retro backlit coverage. A single element used, stained glass. No new architectural features, no intervention elements (redesign), no ego, no artistic aspirations. Only a religious purpose! Whatever the choice of this restoration, may God enlighten the "Notre Dame", preferably in a stained glass cover Amen." Alexandre Fantozzi is not intervention, "redesign", is restoration! It is not competition of better 3d render, it is only idea of restoration project #lacouronnedivine @notredamedeparis @notredameproposal @alexandre_fantozzi @carvalho.juf @aj6studio @morpholio @architizer @adesignersmind @architecture_hunter @designboom @wallpapermag @archdaily @archdailybr @archdigest @architectanddesign @architecturenow @arch.design.daily @archello @notredame @saintgobaingroup @saintgobainbrasil @saintgobainglassbrasil @editoramonolito @carolinedemaigret @antoniospadaro @parisfutur @wazou_75 @seemyparis @vivreparis @labnf @vogueparis @glamurama @gnt @ad_magazine @thecoolhunter_@time #nytimes @babaktafreshi @designmilk @artbasel @artsytecture @instadaconexao @fernandoguerra @parisenespanol #notredame #notredameparis #paris #france #aj6 #aj6studio #morewithless #vitral #stainedglass #vitrail #arquitetura #architecture #architettura #saintgobain #saintgobainbr #glass #verre #lilysafra #restauration #notredesign #restoration #fantozzi #alexandrefantozzi #designer #iluminationdesign #stainedglasswindows #cathedral #parisjetaime

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Alexandre Fantozzi, of Brazil’s AJ6 I Arch Properties Design, proposes crowning Notre Dame with its most famous element: technicolor stained glass, echoing the cathedral’s rose window. This design embodies Victor Hugo’s testimonial to Gothic color:
“Only the great rose of the façade, whose thousand colours were engulfed by a horizontal sunbeam, shone in the shadows like a jumble of diamonds and echoed their dazzling spectre at the other end of the nave.”

Notre Dame’s future has yet to be written, but one thing is certain: she will rise again from the ashes, beloved by Paris and the world.

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