Designers Zeyu Cai and Sibei Li have been announced as the winners of the People’s Notre Dame design competition organized by GoArchitect. With 226 entries from 56 countries, the winning proposal was chosen by the public with over 30,000 people voting. The competition aimed to create a new vision for the future of the iconic cathedral after the Notre Dame fire in April this year. Called Paris Heartbeat, the winning design creates a literal heartbeat for the city.
“We believe the 2019 fire will mark a new era for Notre Dame,” explains As Zeyu Cai and Sibei Li. They go on to explain that in their design, the new spire is interpreted into poly mirrors, gently reflecting the context together with the mirror roof. Every moment the building will have a new look, matching the changing urban environment. In addition, a time capsule, designed to be open every half-century, is floating at the top of the spire. The magnetic levitation installation is made to keep the memory of the past and reserve space for future story.
The new spire represents the memory, presence and hope of humanity. The time capsule can move rhythmically up and down, breathing and beating together with the city. The inside reflection of the tower spire creates a city kaleidoscope. The vibrant glass would be brought to life by the light while the structure expresses the shadow. The beauty and logic of the Rose Window of Notre Dame would be reinterpreted through the design.
In the center of the kaleidoscope is the floating time capsule. Through reflection, people can see the collage city around with the portrait of themselves at the focal point. The space and time tangled together in this illusory space. Here, people remind, people confess, people pray. The religious symbol now provides an open answer to the belief and hope for everyone. Now, it is the time to make the Paris Heartbeat come to life.