Lonely Planet Writer

Notre Dame's roof could be reimagined as a greenhouse

In the aftermath of the devastating fire that tore through Paris’ iconic Notre Dame Cathedral and felled its roof, a French design studio has envisioned a replacement “greenhouse roof”.

A Paris-based design studio has proposed replacing Notre Dame’s roof with a greenhouse. Image by Studio NAB

The French government has called for submissions for the redesign of Notre Dame after parts of the original structure were destroyed in a fire earlier this month. French prime minister, Édouard Phillipe asked architects to design a replacement that is “adapted to the techniques and challenges of our era”. In response, Paris-based architects Studio NAB submitted a design that responds to social, educational and environmental challenges of our era.

Rows of planters would be built from burnt wood in the old church’s attic. Image by Studio NAB

The design studio shared images of its proposed design, complete with an environmentally-friendly apiary that replaces the spire which was destroyed in the fire. This will be home to the 200,000 honey bees who lived in the roof of the sacristy and managed to survive the fire. It’s hoped that it can be a place to train beekeepers and highlight the importance of bees in the environment. The studio also suggests building planters and other facilities from the burnt oak framework that was salvaged from the church’s old attic. It’s a combination of modern and traditional design elements that speak to a sustainable ethos.

A rendering of new apiary in the Paris skyline. Image by Studio NAB

To address the challenges of education and social integration, Studio NAB said they envisage the greenhouse acting as an learning centre where adults and children, especially those from disadvantaged communities, can reconnect with nature and learn about urban agriculture, horticulture and permaculture through educational workshops.

You can read more about Studio NAB’s proposals, including their plans for urban superfarms, here.