On April 15, 2019, one of the most horrific fires of the year broke out when the roof of the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris went up in flames. The inferno lasted for around 15 hours as the world watched in terror. The fire completely destroyed the famous landmarks' iconic spire that collapsed hours after the fire was initially noticed. Most of the wood/metal roof of the gothic architecture cathedral was also destroyed, with only about one-third of the roof remaining. The interior of the cathedral didn't suffer extensive damage thanks to the stone-vaulted ceiling that largely contained the burning roof as it collapsed.

In the following days, French President Emmanuel Macron reassured the public that the historic building could be restored and a fundraising campaign was quickly initiated to help fund the restoration (that could take up to 20 years or more). As of April 22, 2019, over €1 billion was collected.

On April 17, France announced their plans to host a competition to design a replacement spire for the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. French prime minister Edouard Philippe was reported saying that the government was looking for a unique design "adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era." This prompted many architects and designers to power up their creative minds and conjure new images of the roof and the spire. From contemporary glass towers to Gothic stained glass windows, the entries so far offer a fresh reimagination of the classic tourist attraction. Scroll down below to see the cool designs and don't forget to comment and vote for your favorites!

#1

New Spire Designs

ejezeta.cl Report

Rob Chapman
Community Member
2 years ago

Well, this is the only one on this list that does't look absolutely horrible. But still...

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#2

13 Architects Suggest Notre Dame Cathedral Reconstruction Designs

Architect Vincent Callebaut's vision draws the ideas of science, art, and spirituality together. The architect suggests uniting the cathedral’s nave, roof, and new spire in a project he titled ‘Palingenesis’, derived from the greek word for ‘rebirth’. It features a garden underneath a three-dimensional crystal glass canopy."transparency, sharing, and openness to our society’s development: such are the ideas conveyed by this new, diaphanous forest of notre dame, outlining the new face of the church in the 21st century," Callebaut explained his vision.

Vincent Callebaut Architectures Report

AR Annahita
Community Member
2 years ago

I love it!!

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#3

New Spire Designs

Studio NAB proposes a project that would turn the top of the cathedral into a greenhouse-like structure. The spire, in their vision could house a tower of beehives.

studio NAB Report

KCN
Community Member
2 years ago

This is a joke, right?

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#4

13 Architects Suggest Notre Dame Cathedral Reconstruction Designs

"Our Proposal for the new roof and spire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris: A Phoenix rises from the ashes. The spire, clad in sand cast copper panels, emerges from the blackened stainless steel roof supported by flame charred glulam trusses in remembrance of what was and what can become."

studiotjoa Report

Linda Early
Community Member
2 years ago

Doesn't look like a phoenix. Looks cheap.

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#5

New Spire Designs

"A proposal by summumarchi gives access to Notre Dame's attic to make it a commemorative park, with purple colors in memory of the fire, while taking advantage of this enormous generosity of donations to make it a sanctuary for animals and insects even more threatened in cities. May this reconstruction serve the environment, and demonstrate to the rest of the world the knowledge of our French companions of how to deal with magnificent, technical, timeless architecture at the highest level possible. A symbol for future generations."

summumarchi Report

Elaine Dodge
Community Member
2 years ago

I quite like this one. But not the beam of light out the top. There's too much light pollution as there is and it confuses migratory birds.

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#6

New Spire Designs

Architect Norman Foster proposed turning the cathedral's spire into a “super-slender needle touching heaven’s clouds”. It would give the structure more light, reflecting the contemporary architecture.

Norman Foster Report

Matt York
Community Member
2 years ago

stop trying to futurize a historical building

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#7

New Spire Designs

alex_nerovnya Report

Draw to be Brave
Community Member
2 years ago

No

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#8

New Spire Designs

"This subject is very sensitive for reasons that are easily understood. The wood that the construction was made out of as well as its assemblages and age make it a remarkable and honorable creation. It is hard to imagine that there would be another option than rebuilding the identical roof structure and the roof by using all the documents we have. Just like the castle of Guédelon, that is being rebuilt using the knowledge of our ancestors, Notre-Dame de Paris could also become a huge open-air educational project. In a few decades, this tragic episode would fade and as a result we would have a brand new roof of the Cathedral. But if we think about it, would we really be satisfied with this result? What other pleasure would we find besides that of comforting us in the certainty that everything is eternal?"

godart_roussel_architectes Report

Matt York
Community Member
2 years ago

this looks like it belongs in Dubai

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#9

New Spire Designs

"Our proposal for the restoration of the Notre Dame Cathedral is to use one element that it has the best, the stained glass.
Make all the cover in stained glass, including the tower, with transparency to the inner side, through the opening of the vaults, leaving only the structures flying buttresses.
In Gothic there is the connection of the earth to the sky, and inside the Cathedral, the natural illumination multiplies in colors through the filter of the cover in stained glass.
At night the inner illumination turns into a grandiose retro backlit coverage."

alexandre_fantozzi Report

Elaine Dodge
Community Member
2 years ago

Eeeek, gaudily wrapped Christmas present. NO!

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#10

New Spire Designs

"NOUVELLE DAME - Proposal for a new cover of Notre Dame, París"

poa.estudio Report

Nia Loves Art
Community Member
2 years ago

Looks like a cross between a Marvel space embassy and American megachurch.

Catherine Todd
Community Member
2 years ago

Yes, horrible.

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Joannie Goulet
Community Member
2 years ago

This looks ridiculous and doesn't fit at all with the rest of the architecture.

Vlatko Šagud
Community Member
2 years ago

Someone tell this guy to turn up the opacity.

Nick Sady
Community Member
2 years ago

I hope the designer's mother regrets having them.

Michelle Wachman
Community Member
2 years ago

Vulcan High Command? Expecting Mr. Spock to emerge

Sharon Vaughn
Community Member
2 years ago

Trying to copy the Crystal Palace?

Bruce Daily
Community Member
2 years ago

Glass roof here is too modern for the existing architecture.

George Hudacko
Community Member
2 years ago

Looks kinda like a retail store

Jane Alexander
Community Member
2 years ago

Oh, now you're just being silly!

Eagle Girl
Community Member
2 years ago

Are the scientologists moving in?

Karen Hansen
Community Member
2 years ago

gross

Ryan Deschanel
Community Member
1 year ago

Think about all these birds which will die in a little "klung" (or a great "splortch" for the biggest ones), and the people who will have to clean it up.

Bacony
Community Member
1 year ago

Look, we want to rebuild the spire. Not magnify light to the point that it can melt diamond.

armenian meanie
Community Member
2 years ago

Meanwhile at the hall of justice . . .

Carolyn Riddle
Community Member
2 years ago

"New" Lady? We are talking about Our Lady, the mother of Jesus. As to the design, it looks like whatever design is picked, it will probably be glass.

Jose de Herrera
Community Member
2 years ago (edited)

Like all the abominations shown here Notre Dame will rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire, without "futuristic, surrelistic or modernistic" design concepts. Viollet-Le-Duc, was the last architect in the mid XIX century, who who did massive restorations to the building and he added the attic roof and spire that went up in flames. His restoration work and additions respected the Gothic style of the church and even the spire he added became a famous fixture to the Cathedral because it blended so well with the structure. None of these monstrosities and so called "artistic concepts'' do that and if any of these atrocious "design ideas" come to fruition you can bet that a lot of money promised to the rebuilding effort will not be forthcoming.

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Quinn Alexander
Community Member
2 years ago

This comment has been deleted.

Susan Mesick
Community Member
2 years ago

When did the Mormons move in?

patrick mahar
Community Member
2 years ago

you are not worthy to be alive.

L McN
Community Member
2 years ago

I said this to the prior one, but it fits great here too: "Actually, although I am not a big fan of this design I have to say that to make a roof that functions but appears ghost-like such as this may be a great way to remind the future generations AFTER us that this is not original work, that this is a poor representation of what was lost. Functional, but absent the real art."

Jose de Herrera
Community Member
2 years ago

All that burnt in the fire were the additions done by Violet -Le-Duc added in the mid 19th century, whose work blended so well with the structure that the spire became a famous fixture of the Cathedral, and is beloved so much that the French Senate has ordered it to be rebuilt, "exactly as it was".

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SweetPeaJules
Community Member
2 years ago

What a beautiful ethereal cover! It captures the light and air that gothic architecture sought to express but to an extent that modern engineering and materials can do it!

Jane Alexander
Community Member
2 years ago

Now you're just being silly!

Elaine Dodge
Community Member
2 years ago

For some reason it makes me think of either the dentist or the cult Tom Cruise is part of whose name I've completely forgotten right now.

Bobbi Newell
Community Member
2 years ago

Scientology

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#11

New Spire Designs

fuksas_architects Report

Nia Loves Art
Community Member
2 years ago

Let it go, let it go...

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#12

13 Architects Suggest Notre Dame Cathedral Reconstruction Designs

"Upward motion, an idea of mine for Notre Dame’s spire"

honored_art Report

The Girl on Fire
Community Member
2 years ago

Why? It's literally just a spike.....

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#13

New Spire Designs

"Today the French architecture board website reads, ’Heritage, ancient or contemporary, is a revealing and structuring element of our culture, and we must inculcate ourselves to keep alive these markers but also built today the markers of our time’.Ultimately, I trust in France’s cultural core and its decision makers to have the audacity to move forward while retaining The Lady’s timeless image. I can only hope the project will be humble but innovative, delicate, beautiful and engaged,created by highly skilled people around a common table."

deroodavid Report

Elaine Dodge
Community Member
2 years ago

That weird sheeting looks like it's covering some of the exterior architecture. Why on earth would you do that?

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#14

13 Architects Suggest Notre Dame Cathedral Reconstruction Designs

"Some say that we should rebuild the spire as it was originally. Others say that we should design a new one. So, let’s build a new one as it was... 8 days ago"

mathieulehanneur Report

The Girl on Fire
Community Member
2 years ago

This is a joke, right?

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#15

New Spire Designs

"A single element used, stained glass. No new architectural features, no intervention elements (redesign), no ego, no artistic aspirations.
The material specified for this, stained glass, is made of a high-tech glass produced by a renowned and traditional French factory. The glasses have sun protection, without changing the desired aesthetic.
The windows offer greater thermal comfort inside the Cathedral, greater natural light, reduces external noise."

alexandre_fantozzi Report

Elaine Dodge
Community Member
2 years ago

NO! That looks like really ugly Christmas wrapping paper! Gag.

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#16

New Spire Designs

"It’s a tragedy. Nothing would ever return over 850 years of beauty, but it's time to [rebirth] Notre-Dame. In Gothic times builders [tried] to reach the sky, Le Duc [tried] it also in 19th century and have come closer. Now it's possible to make it happen. Lightweight crown that connects heaven with earth."

vizumatelier Report

Elaine Dodge
Community Member
2 years ago

Oh look, the sky's leaking milk into the cathedral

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#17

Notre-Dame-Cathedral-New-Spire-Designs

kissthearchitect Report

Elaine Dodge
Community Member
2 years ago

NONONONONONONONONONONONONONONONO!!!!!!!!! Oh, hang on... this is a joke, right. In that case... bwahahahahaha!

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