Author Topic: Notre Dame Cathedral fire  (Read 962 times)

Offline gillianren

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #30 on: May 10, 2019, 03:34:50 PM »
Honestly, I think that's a lovely blending of the old and the new, and having a garden there brings it somewhat back to its medieval roots.
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Offline apollo16uvc

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #31 on: May 10, 2019, 03:41:22 PM »
If you want to forever ruin a triumph of medieval architecture for all future generations, sure.

It is so unfortunate we do not appear capable of protecting grand art from our ancestors. Placing a maelstorm of glass barf at the location where a beautiful icon once stood IS heritage suicide.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2019, 04:08:49 PM by apollo16uvc »
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2019, 11:35:56 AM »
But I am afraid it is going to be made into a modern-art travesty. Today, nothing is sacred to architects.

Well, I.M. Pei is dead, so that's a slightly less chance of Louvre 2.0.

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I present a case for such fear in the following proposal:

Saw those.  Nearly threw up.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2019, 11:40:01 AM »
Honestly, I think that's a lovely blending of the old and the new, and having a garden there brings it somewhat back to its medieval roots.

The island has plenty of gardens surrounding the cathedral.  Or did, until they were presumably trampled by firefighters.  One of my fondest memories of Paris was sitting in the gardens eating baguettes and looking up at the awesome medieval structure.

I'm a huge fan of daring architecture.  Just not at the expense of classic architecture.  Paris has plenty of both, mostly in the right places.
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #34 on: May 11, 2019, 11:54:02 AM »
If you want to forever ruin a triumph of medieval architecture for all future generations, sure.

It is so unfortunate we do not appear capable of protecting grand art from our ancestors. Placing a maelstorm of glass barf at the location where a beautiful icon once stood IS heritage suicide.

The rest of the art world emphasizes preservation of the original form and intent, often going to great lengths not only to achieve it but to make sure their efforts are fully reversible so that later curators can apply more advanced methods of preservation.  Many years ago I had the privilege of participating as a volunteer in the restoration of the portals at the Basilica di San Nicola in Bari, Italy.  I trained for two weeks in Rome to do this, under the tutelage of some of the best architectural masonry conservators in the business -- people with whom I still correspond today.  The lengths that were gone to in order to preserve without embellishment or addition were... lengthy.

In contrast, architects seem to go off the deep end in the opposite direction.  They look at conservation and restoration as a playground for their own personal artistic, social, or cultural statements.  These structures are a cultural and artistic legacy dating back centuries.  We hope to preserve them for centuries to come.  We are merely the brief custodians of them.  To subject them to our ephemeral architectural fads and fancies seems so very childish and irresponsible.
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Offline apollo16uvc

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #35 on: May 11, 2019, 03:27:45 PM »
Awesome how you've worked on restoration work.

Exactly my thoughts: To have some contemporary piece, dreamed by the whims of a short-sighted architect, is not getting the point.

This is not something that will last a few years, and eventually be bulldozed for the next "art" piece: Its something that should be able to preserve the cathedral from harm of the elements for centuries, and do this with style.

Really, I think having a global callout to architects to make proposals will just get you people who want to put there name on some list. And be able to say: "I put my art on the Notre Dame!", so they can fit in some elite group of established artists that put their modern art somewhere memorable.

They want to be "Bold" and "Challenging", "Modern" but it shows their shortsightedness.

Would a glass roof as seen in the proposals even be fit to survive centuries of the elements? They simply haven't been around long enough for us to know.
I wonder how they are going to remove the partially melted scaffolding, its collapse could seriously damage the remaining bulkheads.
How can they determine where to start in such an unstable and complex structure?
« Last Edit: May 11, 2019, 03:34:20 PM by apollo16uvc »
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Offline Peter B

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2019, 12:23:25 AM »
I do so much hope it is going to be restored to the state before the fire.
Dare I say, even with the originally designed spires on the two bell towers.

But I am afraid it is going to be made into a modern-art travesty. Today, nothing is sacred to architects.
I present a case for such fear in the following proposal:

https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/france-notre-dame-green-scli-intl/index.html
https://www.mixdexhq.com/experiential-design/foster-partners-creates-proposal-for-new-notre-dame-spire/

Vandalism of world heritage.

I assume those designs are more about the architects promoting themselves than any expectation of winning the design competition.

But keep in mind any project to restore the building to what it was pre-fire means restoring it to an appearance it's had only since the middle of the 19th century...

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2019, 01:46:18 PM »
I assume those designs are more about the architects promoting themselves than any expectation of winning the design competition.

That's a reasonable assumption.  But it's sad that those are the designs that show up in the media.  I blame news aggregators that err on the side of click-bait.

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But keep in mind any project to restore the building to what it was pre-fire means restoring it to an appearance it's had only since the middle of the 19th century...

A very good point.  The cherished image of the roof and spire was really from the 19th century.  It's therefore legitimate to ask what is so sacred about that particular epoch of the cathedral's appearance, that it should be the restoration target.  And one answer could be that it's the form that has been cherished for 150 years.  If the goal of restoration is to recover and sustain that feeling, then stick with what is known to work.  Gambling that the world will form the same degree of appreciation for a modern statement or a green statement or any sort of "statement" is a terrible waste.  Don't make a statement.  Respect the existing aesthetic, because that's what people came to love.

I'm not a purist when it comes to structure.  Saying it ought to look the same as at some point in the past is not the same as saying it should be built the same way.  I don't endorse cutting down an entire forest to recreate the massive timbers that were lost in the fire.  If we have to hide a high-tech framework of, say, aluminum space frames between the vault and the roof in order to preserve the structure for the next hundred years, and support a new lightweight-but-heavy-looking roof, I would approve of that.  The fact is many of these ancient structures need a little help, and we're getting better and better at hiding necessary structural remedies.

If the fire is to be treated as a lemons-to-lemonade exercise, then I still see little reason why a trendy, ephemeral re-imagining should be indicated.  People point to the Centre Pompidou as a modern design that was originally hated but then came to be loved.  Yes, and now it's considered architecturally passe.  It's a quaint colloquial expression of a certain 1980s aesthetic that impresses no one today.  A better architectural challenge, in my opinion, would be to attempt to recreate the form as originally designed.  It would be an homage to the original artisans and architects.

I poked fun earlier at I.M. Pei.  He's the one who put that gawdawful pyramid in the middle of the Louvre.  We have to keep in mind this was an expansion, not a restoration.  The original construction of the Louvre could not accommodate the press of visitors, so additional space was needed.  The fear was that an annex would never match the style and grandeur of the palace.  So Pei shoved all the service space underground, leaving only a single entrance.  And he deliberately separated that structure both spatially and stylistically from the rest of the building.  And it is still controversial.  The justification given was that Pei could design no structure for access to the subterranean spaces that would duplicate or harmonize with the existing palace.  That's debatable, but it's probable that Pei couldn't -- that wasn't his style.  Notre Dame is not an expansion.  No additional space is needed.  We're recovering from a disaster, not extending the space to accommodate new needs.

I think a better design analogy is Sagrada Familia, in Barcelona.  Gaudi didn't finish the design.  But that doesn't stop modern architects devoted to Gaudi's inimitable style from imitating it and fleshing out the cathedral in a manner that expresses a whole aesthetic.  There is no reason today's architects can't do similar.  They reach for trendy modernism and deliberately controversial clashes because that's what some architects do.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #38 on: May 16, 2019, 08:40:11 PM »
Well, I.M. Pei is dead...

Okay, now I.M. Pei is dead.
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline ka9q

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #39 on: May 16, 2019, 11:11:58 PM »
Wasn't the Eiffel Tower also hated at first by the Parisians?

Offline JayUtah

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #40 on: May 17, 2019, 02:00:04 AM »
Wasn't the Eiffel Tower also hated at first by the Parisians?
And by Gustav Eiffel.  The reason he had his office at the top of the tower was, in his words, because it was the only place in Paris from which he couldn't see that damned tower.
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Offline bknight

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #41 on: May 17, 2019, 09:24:51 AM »
Wasn't the Eiffel Tower also hated at first by the Parisians?
And by Gustav Eiffel.  The reason he had his office at the top of the tower was, in his words, because it was the only place in Paris from which he couldn't see that damned tower.

Now that makes perfect sense to me.
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Offline bknight

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #42 on: May 17, 2019, 10:38:27 AM »
Well, I.M. Pei is dead...

Okay, now I.M. Pei is dead.

I didn't get that one until this morning when it was announced on my TV program.  :-[
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Offline JayUtah

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #43 on: May 17, 2019, 11:39:29 AM »
I'm just embarrassed not to have known he was still alive.  It pays to fact-check even in the seemingly unimportant details.
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Offline Peter B

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Re: Notre Dame Cathedral fire
« Reply #44 on: May 18, 2019, 03:26:55 AM »
The cherished image of the roof and spire was really from the 19th century.  It's therefore legitimate to ask what is so sacred about that particular epoch of the cathedral's appearance, that it should be the restoration target.  And one answer could be that it's the form that has been cherished for 150 years.  If the goal of restoration is to recover and sustain that feeling, then stick with what is known to work.  Gambling that the world will form the same degree of appreciation for a modern statement or a green statement or any sort of "statement" is a terrible waste.  Don't make a statement.  Respect the existing aesthetic, because that's what people came to love.

Yep. The outcry from the public was because something we love has been destroyed. That immediately suggests that what most people wanted is for it to be restored to what it was pre-fire. I don't think I've heard anyone express gratefulness for the fire because now we can turn Notre Dame into something...different...better...