Set to be located in the church’s iconic Parvis Square, the Pavillon Notre-Dame is intended to offer a beacon of hope to Parisians and international visitors, while the 850-year-old cathedral is restored.
The temporary structure would be constructed out of charred timber.
“Charred timber, which is one of the oldest and most effective methods of protecting wood from fire, also symbolizes that what once destroyed Notre Dame will only serve to make it stronger, thus expressing a language of rebirth and transformation,” says Duncan Swinhoe, regional managing principal at Gensler.
Functioning as a sheltered nave, the temporary formation is reminiscent of the structural rhythms and forms of the Gothic cathedral. With a roof constructed out of ethylene tetrafluoroethylene (ETFE) cushions and walls made up of translucent polycarbonate, the provisional structure will be flooded with natural light.
Replicated to the same dimensions as Notre Dame to ensure familiarity, the space has been designed to serve a multitude of functions, from religious services and exhibitions to markets and performance.
Behind the altar, movable panels will be installed to allow full view of Notre Dame. The design also includes rotating panels at ground level that can be positioned to open or close the edge of the structure to mirror the configuration of the cathedral.
“It is important that the design is true to, but does not upstage, the cathedral,” Swinhoe added. “We wanted to strike a balance between a structure that invites the community, yet can be transformed to become a reflective and spiritual haven when mass is celebrated. We hope this offers the people of Paris, and the world, a statement of hope and rebirth.”