Three years after the fire that nearly destroyed France’s 850-year old landmark – while the cathedral itself is still closed for repairs – the Mayor of Paris has unveiled plans to redesign the surrounding landscape.
The plans show trees and vegetation surrounding the square in front of the cathedral, where, in hot weather, a small stream will flow through to cool the square.
Les abords et le parvis de Notre-Dame se transforment. La Seine et la nature ont une place majeure dans le projet de l'équipe de Bas Smets retenu par le jury. Mieux mettre en valeur notre belle cathédrale pour mieux la révéler, dans le respect de son histoire qui nous oblige. pic.twitter.com/giRmoCMYSg
— Anne Hidalgo (@Anne_Hidalgo) June 27, 2022
The group envisages a large 400-metre park along the banks of the Seine, while the space behind the cathedral will also be transformed with extra vegetation.
The reception area will also be redesigned. In the future, groups, individual visitors and tourists wishing to access the towers will queue at different locations.
Under the monument, the underground parking lot will transform into a visitor centre, offering an interior walkway that will give access to the archaeological crypt and will open up onto the Seine.
The image can be seen below:
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the goal was to “magnify” the building, and that there was a “pressing need” to do so after the fire. For the mayor who is known for her efforts to increase green space in Paris, increasing the vegetation around the monument was also a top priority.
“Urban planning and development must now respond to the climate crisis,” said Hidalgo. In total, 131 new trees will be planted.
At a cost of €50 million, the project will be entirely financed by the City of Paris, and it will be headed by the landscape design firm Bas Mets. The group came in first place out of a group of four finalists in a competition that began in the spring of 2021 to determine the best landscape architect for the job.
Work is already ongoing to restore the cathedral itself after the fire, and that is due to be finished in 2024, in time for the Olympics. Once the Olympics and Paralympics are over, work will start on the area around the Cathedral, which is set to be finished by 2027.