Fancy taking a dip in a Paris pool on the roof of Notre-Dame?

Fancy taking a dip in a swimming pool on the roof of Paris' Notre-Dame cathedral?

Fancy taking a dip in a Paris pool on the roof of Notre-Dame?
Should Notre-Dame have a rooftop pool? Photo UMA

Designs have been released of a rebuilt Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris – with the addition of a rooftop pool.

But architecture purists shouldn't get too wound up just yet, the designs are the work of Swedish firm that wishes to draw attention to Notre-Dame as a public space and have so far not been submitted to the French government.



The artist's impression of the rooftop pool. Photo: UMA 

Ulf Mejergren Architects, based in Stockholm, said the designs were intended to show the “publicness” of the cathedral.

“A cathedral is in our opinion not an isolated island in the urban fabric, it belongs to the city and to the people,” the studio told World Architecture.

Since the devastating fire that ripped through the cathedral on April 15th, severely damaging the roof and destroying the spire, the subject of repairs has become a controversial one.

Some want the cathedral restored to exactly how it looked before, while others think the restoration should marry together the old and the new. (CLICK HERE to see a selection of the ideas)

The French government has launched an international competition so architects can submit their ideas, and some suggestions received so far include a rooftop garden, an 'endless' spire of light and a roof made of crystal.

However the French government has promised that the people will be consulted.

“The French will be able to express themselves, and then we'll see which decision (will be taken) and how Notre-Dame will be restored,” culture minister Frank Riester told LCI television.

But traditionalists can take comfort from the fact that an image that has been circulating of Notre-Dame rebuilt with a multi-storey car park on top is just a joke.

Although anyone who has ever tried to find a parking space in central Paris might warm to that idea.

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Notre-Dame restoration work begins as Paris cathedral on track to reopen in 2024

France's Notre-Dame cathedral is finally ready to undergo restoration work more than two years after a blaze ravaged the heritage landmark, and remains on course to reopen in 2024, authorities said Saturday, following months of painstaking work to secure the building.

Notre-Dame restoration work begins as Paris cathedral on track to reopen in 2024

The great mediaeval edifice survived the inferno on April 15th, 2019, but the spire collapsed and much of the roof was destroyed.

The focus until now had been on making the cathedral safe before restoration work could begin, which included the strenuous task of removing 40,000 pieces of scaffolding that were damaged in the blaze.

“The cathedral stands solid on its pillars, its walls are solid, everything is holding together,” said Jean-Louis Georgelin, head of the public entity tasked with rebuilding the cathedral.

Scaffolding in the interior of the building as the restoration phase begins. Photo by Thomas SAMSON / POOL / AFP

“We are determined to win this battle of 2024, to reopen our cathedral in 2024. It will be France’s honour to do so and we will do so because we are all united on this goal.”

The aim is to celebrate the first full service in the cathedral on April 16th, 2024 – five years after the fire – despite delays caused by the pandemic and the lead that spread during the blaze.

The Notre-Dame spire, a later addition to the medieval building, was completely destroyed in the blaze. Photos by AFP

Authorities will now call for tenders to select the companies to carry out the restoration work.

The cathedral’s interior walls and floors will also undergo “a thorough cleaning process” later this month.

Notre-Dame’s famous Grand Organ is already being restored, with its 8,000 pipes dismantled and sent to organ builders all over France.

It is expected to be put together again in October 2023, said Georgelin, the former head of France’s armed forces who was appointed by President Emmanuel Macron to oversee rebuilding efforts.