Iranian architect designs concept for Notre-Dame Cathedral reconstruction
Inspired by Le Corbusier's book 'When the Cathedrals were White', the design by Habibeh Madjdabadi features a white spine rising from the cathedral's roof
“Straight line belongs to men, the curved one to God” Antoni Gaudi
n modified for several times through the centuries, by addition and subtraction of parts and elements. Each transformation brought the Cathedral new life and enriched its architecture. Transformation has always been part of the Notre dame’s evolution.
The devastating fire on 15 April 2019, should be considered as an opportunity for continuing the millenary tradition of changes and improvements by a meaningful contribution of the new millennium. It is the right time to give a new life to Notre dame and to restore the building with a new idea that goes beyond the mere recovery of the damaged roof and spire.
Cathedrals were known as prominent land marks of the medieval cities. Their height exceeded several times the surrounding buildings. Through the centuries the city skylines changed, the cities became larger and many new high-rise buildings entered in competition with the old cathedrals. Today, the cathedrals have lost their original supremacy and visual impact on the town. Notre dame belongs to the collective imagination of Paris and there are many stories and legends around it. Restoring Notre dame shall include restoration of its original role as an outstanding city landmark and legend. We decided for a new interpretation of the ceiling and spire. In original building the spire and the roof were built in two different times and thus conceived as two distinct architectural elements. in our interpretation these are integral part of each other. The roof rises gradually in the middle creating a curved skyline for the cathedral. The shape of the new structure corresponds to the catenary curves and for this reason the building load is efficiently transferred to the existing piers of the cathedral (to be reinforced), without compromising the stability of the cathedral. The new extension is in line with the traditions of Gothic cathedrals: rising up the building towards the sky for reinforcing the sense of verticality.
Le Corbusier described Notre dame as a ‘pure creation of spirit”. The new roof is white, recalling the le Corbusier titled one of his books: “When the cathedrals were white” and addressing the original aim of the cathedral builders when used marble for creating a white construction. The white color restores the ancient imagination of cathedrals.
The material of The new structure was inspired by the structure of the bird’s bones. Its hollow skeleton improves strength and reduces the structure weight.
People can walk under the new roof having the view of the city, People used to see the cathedral from the city and now there is the opportunity for the people to see the city from the cathedral
In the middle of the walkway in the location of the former spire there is a reflective hollow space, a tunnel of light that connects the cathedral to the new roof, connecting the past to the future
Modeling & Presentation: Sima Vadaye Kheiri, Atena Taleghani