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Notre Dame envisioned as net-zero building with greenhouse

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Yet another proposal for a vegetation-filled roof

Rendering of Notre Dame with glass roof Rendering: Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Is Notre Dame destined to become get a glassy roof and spire with an abundance of greenery inside? It certainly seems like the case according to the architects and designers who’ve, one after another, presented those visions.

The latest comes from Vincent Callebaut Architectures, known for futuristic and sustainability-minded designs like this twisting tree tower in Taiwan. The firm’s plan calls for a glazed roof that swoops into a large spire “in a single stroke,” per the architects.

Rendering of Notre Dame with glass spire Rendering: Vincent Callebaut Architectures

The French studio reimagined the damaged cathedral as a place were nature and city connect. The pitched glass roof is supported by ribs made from cross laminated timber that stretch upwards towards the spire. A rooster found in the rubble sits atop the spire as an unlikely mascot.

Rendering of man standing inside Notre Dame cathedral Rendering: Vincent Callebaut Architectures
Rendering of exterior of cathedral Rendering: Vincent Callebaut Architectures

Similar to proposals from Miysis Studio and Studio NAB, this plan centers around an interior greenhouse that will produce upwards of 21 tons of fruit and vegetables every year. The greenhouse is part of the architects’ plan to transform Notre Dame into a net-zero building, where as much energy is produced and used.

The wooden frame would be covered in crystal glass that’s been layered with hydrogen fuel cells, which would absorb light and transform it into power for the rest of the building. Additionally, the spire will serve as a thermo-regulator, storing hot air during the winter and letting in cool, fresh air during the summer, turning the cathedral into an icon of modern sustainability.