When the final remodel of Notre Dame is complete, it will look a bit different than visitors remember. By Alison Fox
The plan, which is being led by landscape architect Bureau Bas Smets, will feature an enlarged square behind the cathedral and a new park, an underground walkway, and a canopy of trees.
More details about the new Notre Dame design
“The project rethinks the emblematic public spaces around Notre Dame as a sequence of climatic atmospheres,” the firm wrote, adding “Compressed and imbricated around the Cathedral, these spaces frame new views towards Notre Dame, establish a new relationship with the Seine and offer new activities. The Ile de la Cité becomes the epicentre of Paris once again.”
The plan, which includes over 30 percent more vegetation for the area, will also help fight climate change, Paris’ Mayor Anne Hidalgo told The New York Times. The city plans to install a cooling system that will be capable of sending a thin sheet of water down the square during heat waves to lower temperatures without causing potential flooding, the paper noted.
Notre Dame “had to be left in its beauty and have everything around it be a showcase for that beauty,” Hidalgo told the paper, but added “a city like ours can no longer think outside of climate change.”
In addition to the greenery, the new design will transform an underground parking lot into a walkway that can be used to access a welcome centre and archaeological museum, the NYT reported.
Notre Dame, which remains one of the most Instagrammed UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world, was devastated by a fire in April 2019. Since then, officials have worked to reconstruct what was damaged and open parts of the famous cathedral.
In 2020, the city reopened the crypt beneath Notre Dame, which was not damaged by the fire but was affected by lead dust, as well as reopened the public plaza in front of the cathedral’s main entrance.
Last year, French President Emmanuel Macron said his goal was to have Notre Dame complete by the 2024 Olympics, which will be hosted in Paris. While most of the reconstruction will likely be finished by then, the NYT noted work on the cathedral’s outskirts would not start “in earnest” until the scaffolding is removed and will likely not be complete until 2027.
This story first appeared on www.travelandleisure.com
(Main and Feature Image Credit: Bertrand Guay/Getty Images)