Dezeen Magazine

Notre-Dame Cathedral greenhouse roof by NAB Studio

Studio NAB proposes turning Notre-Dame's roof into public greenhouse

Paris-based Studio NAB thinks a giant greenhouse could be built on top of Notre-Dame Cathedral to replace the roof lost in last month's devastating fire.

The covered garden would stretch the length of the Paris cathedral and along both arms of its crossing, while the building's spire would be rebuilt as a multi-storey platform filled with beehives.

Studio NAB created the proposal in response to French prime minister Edouard Philippe's statement that the rebuilt cathedral should be "adapted to issues of our time".

Notre-Dame Cathedral greenhouse roof by NAB Studio
The greenhouse would be filled with planters made from the burnt remains of the roof

"Our proposal is to rebuild a new cathedral, anchored in its time, looking to the future and representing the issues of our time," Studio NAB founder Nicolas Abdelkader told Dezeen.

The proposal aims to respect the cathedral's original silhouette by matching the greenhouse's profile with the 13th-century timber roof that was destroyed in the fire. Its structure would be built from gold-coloured steel.

The space would be used as a garden and educational space for workshops on ecology.

Abdelkader imagines it being filled with planters made from the burnt oak beams of the historic roof, which would also contain the copper statues that were previously on the roof.

Notre-Dame Cathedral greenhouse roof by NAB Studio
Instead of a spire, the roof would be topped with a tower of beehives

The spire would also be rebuilt. However, instead of a gothic flèche, the tower would contain multiple levels supporting numerous beehives. The open floors would be accessed from a central, spiral staircase.

"In reference to the hives that survived the fire and in order to reintroduce the 'living' in Paris, we could produce the famous 'nectar of the gods' in the heart of the new arrow became apiary," explained the studio.

Studio NAB is one of many designers and architects that are creating suggestions for the future of the gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral. Several practices, including Studio Fuksas and Mathieu Lehanneur, have proposed alternative spires for the cathedral.

Abdelkader hopes that his studio's proposal will add to this debate.

"We simply wanted to feed the debate in France about the future of Notre-Dame de Paris from a slightly different, perhaps more universalistic point of view, not just focused on creativity or choosing one ideal architectural response over another," he said.

"Our historical heritage, of which Notre-Dame is a part, is the guarantor of our history for all and for future generations," he continued.

"What legacy do we want to leave to our children? What could become as sacred as our beliefs in our religions? Nature? Respect for others? I believe they are the main questions raised by our reflection."

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