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Society, technology and culture are the main drivers of design in order to create meaningful interventions in a local and global frame. Notre Dame's terrible accident gives us the opportunity to rethink this architectural landmark. As architects, we couldn't resist to ask ourselves some questions regarding the future of Notre Dame. What is our relationship with a religious building? Do buildings express the time passed? How do we represent, acknowledge and remember the time as a culture? What does Notre Dame represent for humankind? As an answer to these questions, we aim to make a respectful proposal to the context. The main goal is to allow the entrance of natural light to the heart of the cathedral. The idea is to make use of the span created by the accident in order to accommodate the new spine of light. This element would be a sort of beacon.
A light steel three-dimensional cross would lie on the old roof structural boundary without transmitting horizontal loads to the existing building. The roof structure would be cladded with clear photovoltaic tiles. The produced energy would be used for the building consumption, giving the proposal a sustainable approach. This new transparent roof would be accessible, allowing the users to observe the interior of the cathedral from above. The proposal attempts to take into account the passage of time, with a contemporary and technological perspective. Moreover, it aims to keep on having the same conceptual drivers of light and spirituality.
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