The Spire of Notre Dame

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by JDMvW, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Is it?
  2. As much as anything in this thread.
  3. I read the entire article and some of the comments. I found it at odds with my own values and attitudes, and with what I believe is in the best interest of culture, society, human beings as individuals, and humankind generally. There are many apropos quotes enumerating the value of knowing history. My favorite is this from George Santayana: "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." Preserving, honoring, and occupying great architecture, like Notre Dame de Paris, can reinforce our sense of who we are and whence we have come, hopefully to remember and avoid mistakes of the past. But we're human, and to err is...
  4. DSC_4233.JPG

    I posted some into "No words" while the fire was still going.

    This is from 2008 with a D70s.
    Supriyo likes this.
  5. David,
    Referring to the article, these are the same tone-deaf arguments we often read on the internet, like someone characterizing black and white photography as devoid of colors, or characterizing poetry as just clever jugglery of words. The author called Notre Dame as something like 'carefully arranged pile of stones', which actually says a lot about his attitude towards the subject. According to him, people who maintain and restore Sistine chapel are obsessing over preservation. Then he brings in Instagram (!#@!!!) and how a posted picture with a half life of a few hours gives enjoyment to a few people, and thats whats substantial to him! In his mind, thats how art should be experienced - seen, forgotten and moved on from. No need of preservation, and the energy and money to be spent for the betterment of the current population. In his mind, no art deserves to be saved for future generations, which is kind of selfish.
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
  6. Vincent Peri

    Vincent Peri Metairie, LA

  7. While that is just plain silly, they [French Government] have pushed through a law allowing them to essentially ignore planning regulations and, especially, those concerning "les Batiments de France", the body that normally oversees all works on historic buildings. I think they want to get it finished before the end of Macron's presidency.

    A particular blow for my local economy, as previously, all slate for the roof of Notre Dame had to come from the Travassac slate quarry (also an UNESCO WHS), but it would probably take them 20 years to make enough slate for the whole roof, by hand...
  8. Without reading every comment in this thread, I get the feeling that this has become an argument for or against the inevitable: change. In this specific case, the inevitable change of a World Heritage Site. I'm not typically a doom sayer type, I'm more on the page of "wait-&-see". I accept change as something I cannot control; the "new" Notre Dame I find to be among the things I have less than zero control over. I value historic architecture, to a point, but embrace change as well. My personal sensibilities notwithstanding, I have hope for something beautiful to replace (yet. again, apparently) that old spire. Beauty, however, is found most often in the eye of the beholder; it is entirely subjective. In the end, there will no doubt be haters as well as lovers of the *new* design. Will it totally ruin (or completely enhance) my little bit of the world? Probably not. Life, in the end, goes on, with -or without- us.
    Charles_Webster likes this.
  9. The spire is (was) a very visible part of the cathedral and no doubt a part of what makes Notre Dame one of the symbols of France (with Mont St-Michel and other icons), however Violet-le-Duc lived in the19th century and undertook many restoration-reconstitutions of French heritage sites, often using neo-Gothic or neo-whatever as part of the reconstitutions. The essence of the cathedral apart form its religious importance is its medieval architectural heritage and excellence. I hope that the major part of the building, the other destroyed elements, are restored or reconstituted to maintain the best of the original character. that wil take time and money of course.

    New architecture is I believe best on its own where it is not attached directly to the original structure. A good example of this is the pyramid at the Louvre, independent (except for underground access) of the various period surrounding structures.

    Norman Foster is a great architect, but I believe he and other contemporary architects are best in applying their art to greenfield structures where their uniqueness can be appreciated.

    I have no unique photo of the spire to offer. Sorry. But I do not think the reborn cathedral necessarily needs a 19th century add-on, however interesting.

    I wish I had images of the evolution of the disappeared timber framing in the transepts. Those structures, conceived by trial and error before the age of mathematical structural mechanical design were things of beauty, albeit hidden from most visitors. They are a great loss, but one that can be replicated more easily and economically with modern framing, without taking away from the visible beauty of a restored structure. It is to be hoped that the French traditional architecture experts who will intervene for the cultural ministry will be allowed to restore-reconstitute as faithfully as possible this icon of French society and leave new magnificent architecture to deal with other contemporary needs.

    An approach like that of the medieval castle style being built at Guedilon not far from Chablis, using ancient methods, is obviously too extravagant in method for Notre Dame, but some aspects of the reconstruction would be worthwhile to emulate, as France has the traditional craftsmen.
  10. Nice to hear from you Arthur, it has been a long time.
  11. Thanks, Allen. Sentiment reciprocated.
  12. Timber framing is alive and well, at least here in the USA where trees are plentiful. I'm sure it would be no mean feat to replicate the timber frame aspects of the structure in any new design. Admittedly, some architects don't understand traditional timber framing and its symbiosis in structural integrity. It would take a special level of vision, indeed, to include timber framing into any modern redesign of this ancient structure- although I. believe it is totally doable... if not more expensive than modern trusses or framing using modern composite-type structural lumber products. Below is a link article with photos of some of the wooden framing.
  13. May I give my official, architect's professional and technical response to the proposals: Gag me with a spoon!
  14. Tony Parsons

    Tony Parsons Norfolk and Good

    I think the name of the first firm sums the entire selection up for me.
  15. I believe at the time (2008) I thought it was a strange place for it, but still did take some pictures of it.


    I might not have any pictures of the Pyramide Inversée.
  16. We're currently undergoing a very controversial public dispute, in Ottawa, about a planned addition to the Chateau Laurier hotel.

    Originally designed in something called Gothic Revival Chateauesque, the building was intended to reflect and complement the Canadian Parliament buildings, on the same block.

    The building is now about 100 years old (actually older than the current 1927 Parliament buildings), and the new (2013) owners are planning to construct a massive addition, in beautiful 21st century style. The proposed design, described by much of the public as " a huge radiator" has been recently approved by city council, but a very intense public legal opposition has been mounted.

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