We all saw in disbelief how Notre-Dame cathedral almost gone due to fire that devoured its roofs. It’s a beautiful and majestic cathedral that’s been keeping watch on Christian and Western culture even from the beginning of its construction eight centuries ago. What happened to this sacred heritage reminds us about the frailty of our life and our civilization.
Vincent Callebaut Architectures have made a proposal for Notre-Dame’s reconstruction by considering several aspects such as writing contemporary history of our country, combining science, art, and spirituality into one, reproducing the past yet projecting ourselves toward the future, and painting the future of Catholicism. It’s a project that symbolizes a resilient and ecological future, it offers the city of Paris a set of solutions inspired by biomimicry, creating a fair symbiotic between humans and nature.
Called Palingenesis Project, Vincent Callebaut explains that this word in Greek means “rebirth” or “regeneration”. He wants to rebuild Notre-Dame cathedral with something more spectacular, preserving its cultural heritage as well as transforming this cathedral into an energy building. The original geometry of the 10-meter high attic will be respected, as we move towards the transept cross, its triangular section and steep, 55-degrees pitched roofs gradually stretch to shape a vertical spire. It respects the inherent principles of descent of the structural loads of the building towards the flying buttresses and the inner fasciculated pillars, the four roofing lines and the four lines of the roof’s ribs bend and join together in harmony towards the sky, producing a parametric and light geometry.
Using cross laminated timber beams pre-stressed with carbon fiber slats, it creates oak frame that seeks to use minimum amount of material to ensure a low-carbon footprint yet providing greatest transparency to the cathedral. This transparency offers openness to society’s development, outlining a new church in the 21st century. The new Notre-Dame Cathedral will feature elegant and pure architecture that invites us to elevate our spirituality. The iconic rooster is located and found in the rubber the day after disaster, it’ll crown the spire again and remain as spiritual lightning rod and protector of the faithful.
Notre-Dame Cathedral will be transformed into a positive energy building, it produces more energy that it consumes. The three-dimensional Gothic stained glass graft will produce all electricity, heat, and passive ventilation that this cathedral might require. It combines passive systems with advanced renewable energies. Using new wooden frame that is covered with a 3D crystal glass dress, subdivided into faceted diamond-shaped elements. These crystals consist of an organic active layer, made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, which absorbs light and transforms it into power. This energy, stored in hydrogen fuel cells, will be directly redistributed throughout the cathedral.
To avoid any greenhouse effect, these crystalline scales open at the bottom of the frame, creating thereby a natural air flow towards the top of the spire just like a wind powered chimney. The roof-spire in cathedral attic offers a thermal buffer space that accumulates hot air in winter for better isolation of this cathedral and vents with fresh air for the summer through evapo-transpiration of plants.