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

Courtesy Vincent Callebaut Architectures/

Spoiler: glass seems to be a common thread.

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.

Courtesy VIZUM

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.

Courtesy Miysis Studios

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.”

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"La Couronne Divine" @yuriytitarev Our proposal for the restoration of the Cathedral of Notre Dame is to use a single element that has the best, stained glass (vitrail). The greatest Gothic feature, using materials of the latest technology. All the cover is made in stained glass, including the tower, with transparency to the inner side, through the opening of the vaults, leaving only the structures of flying buttresses. In Gothic the stained glass signifies the connection of the earth to the sky, and inside the cathedral the natural illumination multiplies in colors through the colorful stained glass filter. At night, the interior lighting becomes a grand backlit cover. A single element used, stained glass. No new architectural features, no intervention elements (redesign), no ego, no artistic aspirations. The material specified for this stained glass is made of a high-tech glass produced by a renowned and traditional French factory. The glasses have sun protection, without changing the desired aesthetic. The windows offer greater thermal comfort inside the Cathedral, greater natural light, reduces external noise, makes the internal environment quieteproject #lacouronnedivine @notredamedeparis @pontifex_es @alexandre_fantozzi @carvalho.juf @aj6studio @architizer @adesignersmind @architecture_hunter @designboom @wallpapermag @archdaily @architecturenow @archello @notredame @saintgobaingroup @saintgobainbrasil @saintgobainglassbrasil @lilysafra @editoramonolito @carolinedemaigret @antoniospadaro @parisfutur @wazou_75 @seemyparis @vivreparis @labnf @vogueparis @glamurama @joycepascowitch @gnt @ad_magazine @thecoolhunter_ @time @babaktafreshi @designmilk @artbasel @artsytecture @instadaconexao @fernandoguerra @parisenespanol #notredame #notredameparis #paris#france #aj6 #aj6studio #morewithless #maiscommenos #vitral #stainedglass #vitrail #arquitetura #architecture #architettura #saintgobain #saintgobainbr #glass #verre #lilysafra #restauration #notredesign #restoration #fantozzi #design #designer #iluminationdesign #stainedglasswindows #manhattanconexion #parisjetaime

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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.

Courtesy Studio Fuksas

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.