Project Notre Dame

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Schoonhoven, June 29th 2019,

The Notre Dame de Paris commands respect for its status as a world heritage site. Characteristic of the gothic is the vertical line with pointed arch. The design reflects this. It speaks both of the old and the new, of decay and renewal, of silence and the hectic pace of today, in a dynamic synthesis that expresses the uplifting of the mind from organized chaos. While retaining character and recognisability. The existing statues on the roof have been incorperated in the design. The Notre Dame de Paris remains itself.

The material – stainless steel (RSV), demi high gloss – takes on the color of the environment. The dark core inside the spire contrasts with the stainless steel, and the interplay of lines will merge with the changing sky. Highlighting the spire in the evening shows other aspects.

The little outcroppings on the spire are portraits of people who have left a spiritual mark on their time. With these portraits, an assignment can be given that reflects of their  influence over time. (idea inspired by NASA pioneer 10, 1972, the golden plaque). A permanent exhibition can be arranged about these people.

A place for remembrance and honor where something can be left behind, increases the value of this design with a function for the people. A place at the bottom of one of the four pillars below the peak, expandable with flexible racks around pillars elsewhere.

Visitors can leave a personal digital message with their smartphone and near field communication (NFC). The messages, which are answered immediately, will provide comfort to people of all walks of life, in the spirit of Liberté, Égalité et Fraternité. The messages can be stored in the crypt, by way of sacred relics, after being endorsed by religious leaders of all creeds and beliefs. In this way the Notre Dame de Paris will serve as a spiritual centre for all the world.

The crossbows below the spire could be reconstructed with high-gloss stainless steel tubes – multiple tubes per arc, creating a ribbed profile. Titanium tube is less prominent for the other crossbows and therefore more modest.

The arch construction can be spanned with a banner as a vault ceiling finish. The roof offers possibilities for collecting energy, but this must not disturb the overall picture. Titanium as a covering could be a suitable finish.


The design is not fully elaborated; it is meant only to show the essence, which in a later stage can be further worked out and refined architecturally in CAD-annalogue mechanical engineering.  by  Ruud  Vos         


Schoonhoven, 24-06-2019