Last July, the President of France, Emmanuel Macron, announced that the reconstruction of damaged structures of Notre Dame in the 2019 fire it will be carried out maintaining the previous aspect and without modern versions, which has not discouraged the Dutch architecture studio Trnsfrm to propose a design iridescent stained glass of large dimensions that fill this color and fantasy heritage architectural. “Notre Dame is one of the most iconic cathedrals in the world; it is a magical place whose beauty has been worshiped for over 800 years. It is a place of worship. A building with a structure where the limits of human capacity have been explored. These characteristics have been the starting point of our design, “explains architect Menno Baas, from Trnsfrm. Far from posing a criticism, this exercise in creativity has been carried out with no other intention than to explore an alternative solution, even if it is never carried out. In fact, Baas assures that the French Government’s decision “is the right choice.” “A new roof design would always conflict with the existing building.”
The proposal, of a sculptural nature, consists of large stained glass windows in a steel frame to rebuild the roof and spire of the cathedral. “As a result, during the day, through the stained glass windows, sunlight reflects the sculpture in the cathedral. At night, the interior lighting of the cathedral creates the opposite effect. The sculpture becomes a ‘glow in the darkness’ over the roofs of Paris, “explains the architect. All of this aims to enhance the spiritual atmosphere and place of worship that the Cathedral symbolizes. “That is why we have designed a modern sculpture of the Virgin Mary that forms the shape of the ceiling. The idea is partially inspired by the new basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City by the late architect Pedro Ramírez Vázquez and the gallery Vittorio Emanuele in Milan, “says Baas.
With this proposal the architect intends to stimulate the symbolism of the Cathedral itself without changing its function. Even if it is never carried out, this alternative solution makes clear sense to the Dutch architect. “Throughout history, architects have always tried to defy gravity and challenge human capacityespecially in regards to cathedrals. In this way, it makes sense not to restore the cathedral, but to build a construction that challenges current human capacity, “he says.