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Martin E. Gonzalez

Notre Dame CathedralDesign CompetitionByMartin E. GonzalezProblem: To design a spire for Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The solution should be adapted to the techniques and challenges of our era.Solution: A spire that is constructed with steel stud framing and covered with stainless steel sheets that will reflect the LED lighting at the base of all walls. The spire shall be square and have three stages of different widths with a total height of 93 m to the street level. The wooden roof should be replaced to match the former one.Rationale: Without exception, all gothic buildings reflect a serenity, expansiveness and nobility without equal. Notre Dame certainly exhibited all of these characteristics among many others. The concept of this design is a solution that is contemporary but reminiscent of the previous spire and the gothic style of the structure. Thus the design had to be “forward looking” without forgetting the past. The design has a modern look but also relates to the gothic style of the building. This goal of modernity needed to be tempered with the fact that beyond being a repository for the culture of France, the building is basically a catholic church and a place of worship. The design also had to look like something that belongs on the roof of a gothic cathedral. Imagery: Imagery is a big part of this design. It was important for me that the design would relate to the spiritual aspect of the building as well as its cultural significance. The shapes of the tops of the walls in each of the stages i.e. horizontal, gothic and gable are reminiscent of the ones found in the former spire. The design is based on a module of three. The three stages relate to the Virgin Mary’s family which had three members i.e. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They also relate to the tricolor French flag and the motto of the French Revolution; “Liberte’, Equalite’, Fraternite’. As the spire is placed at the center of the church, it symbolizes the prayers of the congregation and the people of France going up to heaven. The gable design at the top of Stage 3, pointing to heaven, also symbolizes this concept. The seven 1” diameter steel cables on each side of the spire symbolize the seven decades of the Virgin Mary’s life on earth and they also symbolize the prayers of the world joining with the prayers of the congregation and the people of France. The cables also add stability to the spire. Notre Dame CathedralDesign CompetitionByMartin E. GonzalezProblem: To design a spire for Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The solution should be adapted to the techniques and challenges of our era.Solution: A spire that is constructed with steel stud framing and covered with stainless steel sheets that will reflect the LED lighting at the base of all walls. The spire shall be square and have three stages of different widths with a total height of 93 m to the street level. The wooden roof should be replaced to match the former one.Rationale: Without exception, all gothic buildings reflect a serenity, expansiveness and nobility without equal. Notre Dame certainly exhibited all of these characteristics among many others. The concept of this design is a solution that is contemporary but reminiscent of the previous spire and the gothic style of the structure. Thus the design had to be “forward looking” without forgetting the past. The design has a modern look but also relates to the gothic style of the building. This goal of modernity needed to be tempered with the fact that beyond being a repository for the culture of France, the building is basically a catholic church and a place of worship. The design also had to look like something that belongs on the roof of a gothic cathedral. Imagery: Imagery is a big part of this design. It was important for me that the design would relate to the spiritual aspect of the building as well as its cultural significance. The shapes of the tops of the walls in each of the stages i.e. horizontal, gothic and gable are reminiscent of the ones found in the former spire. The design is based on a module of three. The three stages relate to the Virgin Mary’s family which had three members i.e. Jesus, Mary and Joseph. They also relate to the tricolor French flag and the motto of the French Revolution; “Liberte’, Equalite’, Fraternite’. As the spire is placed at the center of the church, it symbolizes the prayers of the congregation and the people of France going up to heaven. The gable design at the top of Stage 3, pointing to heaven, also symbolizes this concept. The seven 1” diameter steel cables on each side of the spire symbolize the seven decades of the Virgin Mary’s life on earth and they also symbolize the prayers of the world joining with the prayers of the congregation and the people of France. The cables also add stability to the spire. The LED

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