Notre Dame reborn…as a GREENHOUSE: French architects propose replacing cathedral’s damaged roof with glass and filling it with plants
- French architects unveiled the plans to build a giant greenhouse at Notre Dame
- Design would also include an apiary, which would replace the destroyed spire
- The studio says that the concept would be a homage to the importance of nature
French architects have revealed a stunning set of plans to redesign the Notre Dame Cathedral’s fire-ravaged roof as a greenhouse.
The proposal was shared after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe proposed ‘an international architecture competition’ to rebuild the iconic cathedral’s spire which was completely destroyed in the fast-spreading blaze on April 15.
Prime Minister Philippe shared his wish that the cathedral should be ‘adapted to issues of our time’ and architects Studio NAB have come with the concept of turning the damaged roof into a giant greenhouse as a homage to the importance of nature.
The French studio showed off its design, which comes with an apiary that takes the place of the spire.
French firm Studio NAB said that it wanted to look at the redesign of Notre Dame as a question of environmental, educational and social integration
This will house the 180,000 or so bees that survived the fire.
Design photos show the greenhouse perched on top of the church, complete with a golden-hued steel frame filled with glass panels.
Inside, there would be rows of planters built from that burnt wood in the old church’s attic.
They envisage that the greenhouse and apiary would act as an education hub where people can learn about horticulture and urban agriculture.
Studio NAB said that it wanted to look at the redesign of Notre Dame as a question of environmental, educational and social integration.
The firm plans to replace the church’s damaged roof with a glass greenhouse, before filling it with plants
The plans said: ‘On this fire and in the period of crisis that the country and the world are currently going through, we are lucky to build a place of reference where conservation, enrichment of an exceptional heritage and taking into account societal challenges in ecology and equal opportunities.
‘Protecting the living, reintroducing biodiversity, educating consciences and being social, are all symbols, faithful to the values of France and those of the church, that we could defend and promote for this project.’
President Emmanuel Macron pledged last week that the cathedral would be rebuilt in five years.
The unveiling of the plans comes just days after the contractor renovating Notre Dame admitted that scaffolders flouted a smoking ban during works – but denied it caused the devastating blaze.
Scaffolding company Le Bras Freres had a strict smoking ban, but the height of the steeple and the time it took to come down to ground level meant some ignored it.
The cathedral’s destroyed spire would also be replaced by an apiary to house the 180,000 or so bees that survived the blaze
Workers were attempting a major renovation on the steeple to restore its lead covering and joints.
Notre-Dame’s now mostly-destroyed roof was made of wood, and included some of the original beams erected in the 12th century.’There were colleagues who from time to time broke the rules and we regret it,’ a spokesman for scaffolding company Le Bras Freres told AFP, before adding: ‘In no way could a cigarette butt be the cause of the fire at Notre-Dame.’
Spokesman Marc Eskenazi said some workers ‘had admitted in front of the police that they did smoke from time to time,’ confirming a report in the satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaine.
President Emmanuel Macron pledged last week that the cathedral would be rebuilt in five years
Workers stand on the roof of the Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral in Paris one week after a fire devastated the cathedral
Scaffolding company Le Bras Freres has admitted some of its workers flouted a smoking ban while working on the monument – but denied a cigarette could have caused the blaze on April 15
He dismissed the idea of a cigarette starting the fire, saying ‘anyone who has ever tried to light a fire at home knows that it is not by putting a cigarette butt on an oak log that anything happens’.
French investigators have already interviewed the site workers and other witnesses and are now trying to find the origin of the fire at one of Europe’s most visited monuments.
There has been media speculation that a short-circuit on one of the temporary lifts built into the scaffolding and used by workers might be responsible.