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Luay Buni

The Resurrection of The Notre Dame Cathedral – ParisIn Gothic Architecture, The ribbed vaulting was one of the most beautiful and meaningful features, it was related to the Original Cathedrals’ Scholastic concepts of Unity between Heaven and Earth, Faith and Reason, reflected in the Unity between the columns/walls and the pointed arched ceilings, shaped by those thin ribs which were diagonally interrelated like branches of trees. Moreover, this unity in Christianity extends to represent a Spiritual Unity between God and Humanity after Christ’s Resurrection and Cross.Spirit is related to Space rather than object in Architecture, that’s why the new spire in our design shapes a Space inside the cathedral where the ribbed vaults fly to infinity to move and let the soul unite with the unlimited (the experience image). The new spire is the highest part of the new glazed ceiling/roof where the ribbed vaults go higher and higher starting from the far ends of the nave, choir, and transepts to go up and meet inside the new spire space at the crossing. The old ribs go higher with further new ribs that integrate to unite the old and the new within the one collective whole.This new design brings Light through the glazed ceiling, continuing the old concept’s will to form the largest windows possible to bring Light, using the external flying buttresses to achieve that goal structurally. Both the new and the old treatments integrate to let the cathedral shine in “All Light”.

The ribbed vaults unite the Heavenly Light with the whole cathedral on Earth. Outside, at the end edges of the nave, choir, and transepts, some broken parts which have the same image of the old roof are shaped torn, with black broken edges like being burned, these parts cover the new ceiling’s far edges causing shades inside to symbolize the internal transition from darkness to Light. Also, the brokenness of these parts symbolize the brokenness of the Cross, followed by the glory of the resurrection shaped by the new spire, ceiling and roof. After the resurrection of Christ, the curtain that isolated The Most Holy place inside the temple was torn to unite Humanity with the Holiness of God, and the torn parts of the cathedral’s old roof is a symbol of that torn curtain, bringing All Light inside the cathedral. An external broken falling spire with the same identical image of the old spire is supported visually and structurally by a new flying buttress of steel, wood and glass (as an extension of the new roof) to symbolize the scars of Christ after the glory of the resurrection, and to keep the memory of the old burned spire.  The apostles’ statues will be located within the new spire inside, and can be seen through the transparency of glass outside. The same way, the new glazed ceiling that has three of the sky’s colors makes the ribbed vaults seen from outside too.

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