Vincent Callebaut designs energy-positive Notre Dame restoration complete with rooftop farm

Parisian firm Vincent Callebaut Architectures has designed an energy-positive plan to restore Notre Dame cathedral, which was badly damaged in a fire last month.

Vincent Callebaut’s "Palingenesis" project envisages combining the cathedral’s stone nave, roof and spire in a continuous structure.

The building would have a frame made from cross-laminated timber beams and pre-stressed carbon-fibre slats, which would hold stained glass. The glass itself would contain a layer of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen to absorb light and transforms it into energy, which would then be stored in hydrogen fuel cells.

The firm says the stained glass would be "subdivided into faceted diamond-shaped elements", with the lower windows able to open to increase the flow of air.

The roof would host an urban farm set in planters, and aquaponic basins feeding plants with fertiliser from fish. The produce grown on the premises would be sold at a farmers’ market held every week on the forecourt of Notre Dame.

The architect says on on its website: "This powerful fire has awakened our dystopian imagination and somewhat echoed the Church’s current identity crisis, as well as the environmental challenges we are facing through climate change.  

"We seek to present a transcendent project, a symbol of a resilient and ecological future that offers Paris a set of solutions inspired by biomimicry, defined here as a common ethic for a fairer symbiotic relationship between humans and nature."

Following the fire an inquest was launched into restoration works on spire, and international firms were invited to design a new version.

Images courtesy of Vincent Callebaut Architectures

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  1. What a wonderful concept.
    Tragedy aside, it’s not the first time that the Cathedral has been subject to radical change.
    The use of laminated materials makes sense. We can give them properties such as fire resistance etc.
    The whole eco idea is great and the look though a little radical does fit with the Gothic style.
    I’m sure it won’t suit many but I think it works.
    What I wouldn’t want is for this new concept in building in Paris to be the start of more new skyscrapers. Don’t make the mistake we have made in London – a cacophony of Orwellian structures reaching up to dwarf the skyline.
    First glimpse a great option and a great Opportunity.
    Many Thanks

  2. Wonderful Proposal using the wonderful roof space to balance beauty and ecology – Allez Y Callebaut !!

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