A swimming pool? Car park? People pitch designs for Notre Dame's roof

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By Camille Simonet  & Cube Team
A view shows Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fire.
A view shows Notre-Dame Cathedral after the fire.   -  Copyright  REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes

As the French came to terms with the damage inflicted on Notre Dame by a recent fire, architects and graphic designers have been sharing their ideas for the reconstruction of the iconic cathedral.

Since the French government announced on April 17 that they would launch an international competition to design a new spire that "is adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era", social media was awash with pitches.

From a rooftop swimming pool to an entire spire made of glass panels atop an urban farm, here is a selection of the most attention-grabbing designs.

A swimming pool on the roof

Stockholm-based architecture firm Ulf Mejergren Architects (UMA) proposed a giant swimming pool that spans the whole roof of Notre Dame.

The pool would be used as a public "new meditative space with unmatched views of Paris".

"Our addition is a complementary spatial experience to the building that will match the awe of the great interior; a space for thinking and self-reflection," UMA said of the project.

"The spire is gone, but the twelve statues of the apostles that were put away during the restoration and managed to escape the fire, are once again back on the roof, now as guardians around a large public pool that occupies the whole roof," it added.

A green roof for a greener planet

Baseland agency put forward an environment-focused idea for Notre Dame's new look: A green roof surrounded by a deck.

"Why build it the same way? Shouldn't we evolve? Why not a roof garden," one Facebook user said as he reshared the design.

An eco-friendly spire made of glass

Another project from Paris firm Vincent Callebaut Architectures brings together eco-friendly design and public interest using a spire made of glass covering an urban farm.

It proposes using the energy produced by the roof, which would also act like solar panels, to turn Notre Dame into a "positive energy building".

"The cathedral would become an exemplary eco-engineering structure and the Church a true pioneer in environmental resiliency," the company said in a press release on the project.

A futuristic spire

Architect Alexandre Chassang shared a modern vision for the cathedral's spire, arguing that Notre Dame's new face "must depict our era".

Paris's new carpark

Ideas for the cathedral's makeover were not only put forward by architects. Users also shared their concepts on social media, like the above pitch from a radio station that showed the famous roof transformed into a multi-story carpark.