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The Notre Dame is a symbol of Christianity, France and Europe.
Its significance even reaches further, since so many people from all over the world visit the cathedral.
The Notre Dame is a house of God and an abode for man worldwide.
As with all other wonderful monuments in Europe, the number of people visiting the Notre Dame is overwhelming.
After the fire disaster, we see it as an opportunity to create a place for contemplation and self-reflection under the new roof, for those people who specifically come for a spiritual visit.
While restoring the roof and spire, a chapel with spiritual value will be realized at the same time. Another layer of meaning will be added, like was done in previous centuries.
Light & Water
Our aim is to materialise light in such a way that symbols of Christianity are created.
In Christianity, light and water play an essential role, just like in many other religions.
We’d like to create a Christian place where all religions can meet.
The Cross, as a symbol of Christianity, is brought in by light shining through the glass separation of the spire and roof. The light enters the space the shape of a cross.
Light passing the roset windows cuts through the trusses that hold the roof.
Visitors coming up the towers into the roof follow this path of light. They walk along a bridge, that leads through a series of roset openings.
A thin line of water runs through a groove in the bridges and then widens in a clear cross where the rooflines and bridges come together in the chapel for contemplation. The underside of this watercross is made of glass. Light will fall through the watercross into the cathedral below.
Place for Self Reflection
The water flows towards the apse where it is saved in a round water basin, an inviting place for self reflection. A circle up at the rooftop allows in light, creating reflections of the water ripples on the underside of the roof apse.
Our aim is to bring in a fresh spirituality. Simply looking from a distance makes the experience incomplete. People should be offered a tactile experience. This is what brought us to design the interior as described above.
By day, from the outside, the general impression is similar as it was before the fire. Only subtle changes are visible.
The roof is covered with a material that resembles the original. Solar panels are integrated.
The rooftop is split over the full length, holding a linear glass element that allows light into the attic. This glass element sticks out, showing former decoration engraved as a hologram in the glass.
The glass divides the spire into four quarters to make light enter the chapel cross shaped. Former decorations of the spire fill the quarters.
By night, artificial light shines from inside out to light up the glass in the spire and rooftop.
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Maxthreads Architecture and Urban Design
Chicago Underground Practice