Here Come the Architects: Modernists Want Glass Roof, Steel Spire, or Minaret for Notre Dame

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Modern architects have begun circling the charred remains of Notre Dame, proposing that it should not be faithfully restored, but rebuilt with “contemporary” features such as a glass roof, steel spire, or even a minaret.

With leading academics and professionals in architecture generally being hostile to building or restoring anything in styles predating the infamous Le Corbusier (Charles-Édouard Jeanneret) and the Bauhaus school, they were quick to pounce when President Emmanuel Macron’s prime minister announced there would be a competition to “ask the question of whether we should even recreate the spire as it was conceived… Or if, as is often the case in the evolution of heritage, we should endow Notre-Dame with a new spire”.

The Telegraph published an article claiming it would be a “travesty” to restore Notre Dame as it was just a day after the fire, while Rolling Stone quoted a Harvard architecture historian as saying that the burning of a building “so overburdened with meaning… feels like an act of liberation.”

Now proposals for a new spire are beginning to come together, and leading architects do indeed appear to be pushing for a “contemporary” replacement in the ubiquitous glass and steel style used for modern buildings all over the world.View image on Twitter

Perhaps most controversial is a proposal in Domus, the architecture magazine, by Tom Wilkinson, for the fallen spire to be replaced with an Islamic minaret, to memorialise Algerians who protested the French government in the 1960s.

“These victims of the state could be memorialised by replacing with – why not? – a graceful minaret,” Wilkinson insisted. – READ MORE

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