In the wake of the Notre Dame fire in Paris, discussion is now swirling around how to properly restore the damaged parts of the iconic cathedral. The roof was among Notre Dame’s most heavily devastated structural elements, and one French design studio has proposed replacing it with something resembling a greenhouse. After the roof’s destruction, the French government asked for submissions for the structure’s redesign. According to French prime minister Edouard Phillipe, the redesign should be “adapted to the techniques and challenges of our era.” Paris-based architects Studio NAB is answering the call with a design that certainly addresses social and environmental concerns.
Photos of the proposed design show an environmentally friendly apiary replacing the spire, which was destroyed in the fire. This apiary would be home to the 180,000 honey bees who live in the roof of the sacristy and survived the fire. It would also function as a place to train beekeepers and highlight the importance of bees to the environment. Studio NAB also plans to use the burnt oak framework salvaged from the church’s old attic to build planters and other facilities.
The studio envisions the greenhouse-style roof to serve as a learning center where adults and children can gather to reconnect with nature and learn about urban agriculture, horticulture, and permaculture through educational workshops.
It’s too soon to tell whether this greenhouse plan will actually go into effect, but there will certainly be many other designs proposed before one is selected.