It’s been a month since the Notre Dame cathedral was razed by flames last April 15, 2019, leaving people across the globe in shock. Now, let’s see what has transpired in the cathedral and its vicinity since then.
The Notre Dame fire served as a wake-up call to ensure that historical buildings are not prone to fire hazards. The member of the parliament for Meriden Caroline Spelman said addressing the House of Commons, that the Cathedral and Church Buildings Division is in tight coordination with the Cathedral Architects Association to ensure that the building records stay updated.
This is in line with the high likelihood that the Notre Dame fire was due to electrical issues. Historic buildings, while having endured the test of time did not follow the same building protocols that we have today Because of this, additional precautions must be taken in order to guarantee the preservation of these structures.
Time to Shine
In a short period of time, the cathedral racked up millions of dollars in pledges for its rebuilding. Now the question is who will do the rebuilding to regain the cathedral’s former state. A candidate would be the stonemasons and carpenters of Guédelon, who are specifically equipped to remake medieval structures.
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Because the lesser value attributed to manual work, France is now lacking in stonecutters, masons, carpenters, and roofers. With such a big project lined up, opportunities are expected to open up for artisans. At the same time, this can potentially encourage some of those in the younger generation to pursue the craft, solving the lack of qualified workers in the trade.
Stream of Ideas
While there are proponents to the restoration of the cathedral to how it originally was, there are also others who want to reimagine Notre Dame, infusing the medieval structure with modern architectural flavour.
Take for instance Miysis Studio who proposes a glass roof design with all sorts of greenery inside. “We think there is a way to be respectful and a little bit creative at the same time,” Denis Stevens, Miysis Studio CEO said in an interview.
France has also announced an international architectural competition to redesign the iconic spire that collapsed into the blaze last month.
One of the challenges in rebuilding Notre-Dame is also the availability of materials to use. The original latticework of beams that make up the structure of the roof is made of oak. Dubbed as the Forest or “la forêt”, some of the beams are almost 800-year old and around 13,000 trees were used in its construction. Sadly though, there are no oak trees that are large enough to be used for the reconstruction. This will drive the architects, restorers and builders to innovate and think of other methods and approaches in rebuilding the roof.
Ray of Hope
Beneath the ashes, there is much sadness to be found. However, we can see a flicker of hope with people joining together to rebuild what was lost. With so much people willing to help, we would most definitely see a restored and even better Notre Dame in no time.