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A look at architects’ ideas for Notre Dame – from forest to swimming pool!

On the 15 April 2019, the devastating news of a fire breaking out at Notre Dame Cathedral spread across the world. The iconic 850-year-old building’s spire and roof caught alight, with the spire collapsing entirely and falling through the oak wood constructed roof.

This catastrophic fire has altered Paris’s skyline for good, but surely there is some way this historical building can be reconstructed?

There have been many reconstruction designs for the cathedral floating around the internet, including the totally outrageous – such as converting the roof into a swimming pool or a rooftop greenhouse. Here’s a look at some of the best designs we’ve seen.

Louis Vuitton

Following the generous $200 million donation from Louis Vuitton to the renovation fund, Pedro Ribs (Entrequadra Novas Mídias) has recreated the original Notre Dame Cathedral, with the addition of the Louis Vuitton logo across both the roof and the square at the west entrance. The logo would also be featured over the rose windows, as well as any flags that will be flying.

Not to deter from the generous donation, but we think this design is slight overkill with the logo being placed in every possible place – don’t you think?

The Golden Arches

Surprisingly, the design featuring the McDonald’s golden arches wasn’t the work of their marketing team, merely an unknown designer on Reddit – who was clearly a little bored. Here is his it is:



An interesting take. We’re not sure that it reflects the religious and historical origins of the cathedral, but it’s an innovative concept nonetheless.

So, let’s take a look at a couple of more serious designs, in keeping with the traditional cathedral and the structural integrity. We absolutely love this concept from AJ6 Studio, which just looks stunning.

The entire roof and spire would be rebuilt from stained glass, which would create a dazzling image in the skyline. Alexandre Fantozzi, one of the creators, said the idea behind this design was to connect the earth to the sky, keeping the gothic feel of the cathedral.



Our other favourite architectural design comes from the British architect Norman Foster, who is extremely well-known for designing the Gherkin in London. His simplistic idea takes a more traditional approach, rebuilding the roof and spire from crystal glass and stainless steel.

In a recent tweet from the Royal Fine Art Commission Trust, Foster explained in an interview with the Guardian how this competition is an ‘extraordinary opportunity’ for an architect to have their ideas turned into reality.

Well, we had better get cracking with our own designs then hadn’t we! For further information on how we can help you build the house of your dreams, please contact us here at KJ Architects today.



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    Studio 2 4 The Highlands Exning Newmarket Suffolk CB8 7NT
    T: 01638 662393
    A look at architects’ ideas for Notre Dame – from forest to swimming pool!