Thanks to Studio NAB, we move away from the traditional paths again. Why? Beginning at the evening of 15 April 2019, a fire destroyed the spire, the oak frame and lead roof of Notre-Dame, the old lady of Paris. However, it didn’t take a long time before donations of more than 1,000,000,000 EUR for the restoration of the partially destroyed medieval Catholic cathedral on the Île de la Cité have been raised.
Studio NAB simply took it literally when the French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said that the rehabilitation project should be “adapted to issues of our time”. The Paris based architects translated this wish and proposed an urban farming rooftop for the 1260 built monument. Leaving the trodden path and reacting in a flexible way means to grow vegetables and produce honey on the top of Notre-Dame for the resource-hungry capital of France.
Studio NAB states: “Our approach is simply to feed the debate about the future of Notre Dame de Paris. We suggest a slightly different angle of view, more universalist than focused on creativity or on the choice of an ideal architectural answer. Highlight the fact that contemporary architecture has a real social role to play if it listens to society and issues to consider for the next decades. In our opinion, architecture should express itself with a certain empathy in its approach to the projects, but also of the Human for whom it builds. It should not be reduced to the result of a gesture, nor to a formal or technological expression, nor to the enhancement of a mere materiality.”
“Our historic heritage, of which Notre Dame is a part, is the guarantor of our history for all and for future generations.”
In concrete terms, the different angle also means to provide a teaching and learning environment for urban agriculture, horticulture and permaculture by saddling up a greenhouse on the top of Notre-Dame. If that wouldn’t be enough, Studio NAB imagines producing the famous “nectar of the gods” with beekeeping on the very top of Notre-Dame and above the roofs of Paris.