Notre Dame will be rebuilt exactly as it was: futuristic plans discarded


Paris, Notre-Dame Cathedral will be rebuilt exactly as it was. No futuristic plans for the building.

No glass spires, elevated greenhouses or rooftop pools for the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris: the futuristic designs on which architects had indulged in recent months will be scrapped because Eugène Viollet-le-Duc ’s medieval roof and 19th-century spire will be rebuilt exactly as they were. Ideas that had even tickled the fancy of French President Emmanuel Macron, who launched the idea of an international competition for the reconstruction. But even then many architects, art historians, and academics had spoken out against imaginative designs, wishing the church would return to its former form.

Things changed direction after the cultural heritage commission delivered its opinion on the reconstruction to the government (expressing itself in favor of “as it was”), and after the architect-chief of the construction site, Philippe Villeneuve, even contemplated resigning if a project is approved that does not respect the original forms. The commission let the government know that rebuilding as it was “will guarantee authenticity, harmony and coherence to this masterpiece of Gothic architecture.”

And Macron was convinced: the “contemporaneity” desired by the president will be guaranteed by the redevelopment program that will cover the cathedral’s surroundings. The president, a statement from the Elyse reads, “has mobilized all parties to start work on the reconstruction of the cathedral. The goal will have to be to maintain the five-year goal and to bring to life a motivating and powerful project. The president hoped that this project will unite all French people and in particular that all the companies, artists and craftsmen from all the French regions will be able to work on it and train many young people.”

Pictured: Notre Dame before the fire on April 15, 2019.

Notre Dame will be rebuilt exactly as it was: futuristic plans discarded
Notre Dame will be rebuilt exactly as it was: futuristic plans discarded