The Belgian wants to give the Cathedral of Notre-Dame a new roof with a gothic and biomimetic forest. A crazy idea?
The international architectural tender announced by the French government after the fire that destroyed the roof of Notre-Dame de Paris in mid-April is not yet launched, but architects from all over the world are already showing off their projects. Among the dozens of architects who have already come forward, Vincent Callebaut unveiled what he called “Palingenesis, a homage to Notre-Dame”. The idea: to create a gothic and biomimetic forest on the roof of the cathedral.
It would generate more energy than it consumes and could house an aquaponic farm, capable of producing 21 tonnes of fruit and vegetables per year. The objective: to give the gothic structure a “new face” for the 21st century and make it the symbol of a resilient future. “It is not enough to reproduce the past identically,” says Vincent Callebaut, a Louviérois with offices in Paris. We must make the future radiant.” “We aim to present a transcendent project, the symbol of a resilient and ecological future, which offers the city of Paris a set of solutions inspired by biomimicry,” explains the architect.
A nourishing garden
Built with laminated wood beams, the new roof of the monument offers great transparency thanks to a cover of solar glass crystals. At its heart, the architect planned a garden dedicated to meditation, which would be not only aesthetic but also… “nourishing”. Aquaponic ponds in the attic of the transept and permaculture on the roof are on the menu.
Inside, the change is radical as the choir would be bathed in natural light. The cherry on the scaffolding: the roof structure completely integrates the presence of the arrow, disappeared under the flames last April. In parallel with his utopian projects, our compatriot is working around the world and co-signs the Belgian pavilion for the World Expo in Dubai in 2020, together with Assar Architects.