C+S March 2023 Vol. 9 Issue 3 (web)

create a more aesthetic surface finish. Along with creating a welcome center better adapted to host visitors in the modern age, this new plan for the areas underneath Notre Dame’s forecourt also connects these visitors with two other important areas: the Crypt of Notre Dame and the river Seine. Opened to the public in the 1980s, the crypts beneath Notre Dame Ca - thedral house several important archeological discoveries that pre-date the building of the cathedral and even the city of Paris itself. Over the years, researchers have found the remains of a Gallo-Roman dock - ing port and public bath, stretch of fourth-century ramparts, and parts of a medieval road and church. Despite this wealth of archeological history, the crypts beneath Notre Dame are vastly under-visited when compared to the structure above. A large part of this is due to the entrance to the space being offsite since its opening. The new plan for the space under Notre Dame cathedral is set to change this and elevate this historical site to the forefront. The new entrance space envisioned by the Bureau Bas Smets team will feature a new entrance to the crypts, adjacent to the entrance to the cathedral. This new onsite entrance to the crypts below Notre Dame is one of the key ways this new vision for the area will create stronger links between the future and the past. Another major way this project will connect the future and the past is by including the river Seine. The history of Notre Dame and the Seine are inextricably linked, and this new design pays tribute to this connection. Along with providing entrances to the cathedral and crypts, the new underground space will also open onto the Seine via a new opening in the quay wall. Using tools provided by

Autodesk, the winning design team was able to test and model design options for their concept. Work on the winning project is expected to begin in 2024 and complete in 2028. When the project is complete and restorations are finished, the Notre Dame Cathedral will be entering into a new era of its his - tory. When images of Notre Dame burning filled television screens around the world in 2019, the world held its breath and braced for loss. However, with an outpouring of support from around the world–and the tools and expertise of the AEC industry–this iconic structure is not only going to be restored. Rather, the Notre Dame Cathedral will be renovated in such a way that builds on its unparalleled past. In doing so, this new vision for the world icon is able to strike a fine balance between the past and modernity.

LUKE CAROTHERS is the Editor for Civil + Structural Engineer Media. If you want us to cover your project or want to feature your own article, he can be reached at lcarothers@zweiggroup.com.


March 2023 csengineermag.com

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