Architects reveal designs for Notre-Dame spire rebuild


Following the devastating fire that destroyed the roof of Notre-Dame in Paris, architects have stepped forward offering a range alternative proposals for the Parisian landmark

By Ted Tabet, The Urban Developer


After Notre-Dame suffered a serious fire last month, President Macron made a televised address promising to restore the cathedral in just five years

Last month, French legislators announced that they would be holding an international design competition for how the beloved cathedral ought to be reconstructed.

News of the competition has prompted architects from around the world to release visualisations of their ideas for replacing the spire while over €1 billion (A$1.62bn) has been donated towards the rebuilding project, mostly from French billionaires.

French prime minister Edouard Philippe said that, instead of simply recreating the original spire, they want a new design “adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era”.

The spire dramatically collapsed in front of crowds, who had gathered to watch in horror as the historic French gothic cathedral went up in flames.

However, this spire was not an original part of the cathedral, which was built in the 12 and 13th centuries. The first spire is believed to have been part of the roof between the 13th and 18th centuries, but was removed due to wind damage.

French architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc added a new spire over the transept as part of his restoration in the 19th century.

A decision on a new Notre-Dame is months away, as experts are still assessing the damage.

But once a design is announced for the cathedral, architects, construction workers and master craftsmen will have to race to meet the five-year deadline imposed by French President Emmanuel Macron, in line with the Olympic Games in 2024.

The debate continues about how best to rebuild the cathedral, with some insisting that Notre-Dame should be rebuilt exactly as it was, while others – most notably, architect Norman Foster – have proposed that it should be modernised.