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Rebuilding Notre-Dame: A Look at the Most Stunning Proposals

Spoiler: glass seems to be a common thread.


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Since the fire that ravaged Notre-Dame on April 15, the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe put out a call for designers to submit their best ideas for reviving the iconic monument. The design world has surely delivered.

We previously covered how Dutch company Concr3de wants to utilize ashes from the destruction of the former structure to rebuild the new sections of the cathedral with 3D printing. This particular design focuses on marrying the old with the new, taking cues from the past designs and integrating them into the new build. On the flip side, there’s the glass design that turns the roof of Notre-Dame into an indoor forest of sorts. As opposed to the design from Concr3de, this idea from Miysis Studio uses the same proportions as the old rooftop, but gives it a completely modern twist—a true juxtaposition from the remaining sections of the cathedral.

Many are focused solely on recreating the spire, which many people watched horrified as it tumbled to the ground. The ideas are creative, a personal favorite being the massive beam of light Slovakia-based design firm Vizum Atelier has in mind. In an interview with the The New York Times, firm architect Michal Kovac shared that the spire would serve as a “lighthouse for lost souls” and “would fulfill the aim of the architects of Gothic cathedrals around Europe who wanted to touch heaven with their spires.”

Glass seemed to be a theme on designers’ minds as it was also suggested that the new roof be made of stained glass, a more religious aesthetic than what Miysis pitched. Brazilian architect Alexandre Fantozzi even rebuilt the spire using stained glass in the designs he shared on Instagram. While on the topic of glass, Architect Vincent Callebaut shares the popular material in his design, but the look is more aesthetically seamless—the spire builds gradually from the glass roof, all housing a greenhouse. And if glass wasn’t elevated enough, Italian architects Massimiliano and Doriana Fuksas want to rebuild the rooftop and spire out of Baccarat crystal.

The official design competition details have not yet been released, but if the early proposals are anything to go off of, we can’t wait to see what people are going to dream up next.


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