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What the Notre Dame could now look like

May 14, 2019 08:17 IST

A special crystal glass roof and a garden to grow 21 tonnes of fruit and vegetables each year.

These would be the new features included in the innovative design for the historic 12th century Notre Dame cathedral, which was destroyed in the devastating fire in April.

IMAGE: Architect Vincent Callebaut's stunning re-design of Notre Dame cathedral includes a special crystal glass roof to help the new solar panels power the 850-year-old building. Photograph courtesy: Vincent Callebaut/Facebook

Renowned green architect Vincent Callebaut has published his concept for the reconstruction of Notre-Dame Cathedral. Callebaut is proposing a glass roof -- a popular choice among architects -- with a timber frame that gently slopes up to form the spire. Titled Palingenesis, which means rebirth, Callebaut’s Notre-Dame concept aims to unite spirituality, art, and science.


The architect's stunning plans would even see the cathedral in Paris become self-sufficient, producing more energy than it consumes.

This would be done through a special crystal glass on his incredible curved spire, which would absorb light and use it to power the building.

IMAGE: The glazed spire will flood the choir end of the cathedral with natural light. The glass encloses an urban farm that will produce both energy and food. Photograph courtesy: Vincent Callebaut/Facebook

He added the leftover energy could then be re-distributed to nearby buildings for free, while a weekly farmer's market could be held outside the cathedral for the fruit and vegetables grown there.

The designs have now been submitted to the French Government, who announced an international competition to re-design the spire of the Cathedral after a nine-hour inferno threatened to bring down the entire structure.

IMAGE: Vincent has submitted the design which would transform the cathedral into a eco-friendly building. Photograph courtesy: Vincent Callebaut/Facebook

The blaze erupted in the UNESCO world heritage landmark in the French capital last month, sending its spire and roof crashing to the ground as flames and clouds of smoke billowed into the sky.

The new designs, however, still include some of the features from the old structure. For instance, the rooster which topped the original spire, retrieved from the rubble after the fire, will resume its watch from the new glass design, while the cathedral's choir will be "bathed in natural light." 

IMAGE: A view beneath the spire - the roof will be vented to allow a natural air flow. Photograph courtesy: Vincent Callebaut/Facebook

If the Vincent Callebaut design is selected, the firm said, the reborn Notre Dame will define "the new face of the Church in the 21st century," presenting "a fairer symbiotic relationship between humans and nature."