Gensler designs temporary Notre-Dame pavilion as worship space

US architect Gensler has designed a temporary pavilion to be located next to Paris’ Notre-Dame Cathedral, which was badly damaged in a fire on 15 April.

Gensler says the building will provide room for the community to congregate while the cathedral is being restored. It will also provide space for religious services, exhibitions, markets and performances.

The Pavilion Notre-Dame will be built primarily out of charred timber, with a roof made from ETFE foil cushions and walls of translucent polycarbonate, which will allow natural light into the structure.

The design includes rotating panels on the ground-floor level that can open and close to adapt the space to what it being used for.

Duncan Swinhoe, Gensler’s regional managing principal, said: "Charred timber, which is one of the oldest and most effective methods of protecting wood from fire, also symbolises that what once destroyed Notre-Dame will only serve to make it stronger thus expressing a language of rebirth and transformation.

"It is important that the design is true to, but doesn’t upstage, the cathedral. We wanted to strike a balance between a structure that invites the community yet can be transformed to become a reflective and spiritual haven when mass is celebrated. We hope this offers the people of Paris, and the world, a statement of hope and rebirth."

The Notre-Dame Cathedral was undergoing renovation work to fix cracks that had appeared in the stone when the fire broke out.

€500m was pledged to the Notre Dame restoration, before the French Senate defied Macron by ruling that the cathedral would be rebuilt to its original state.

Images courtesy of Gensler

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