Candles on the Cathedral


“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

In this project, Notre-Dame’s Ardent Chapel is a memorial to those persecuted by religious fanaticism and blind proselytizing, from the propagation of religious ideologies to the cultural shock caused by the destruction of the Twin Towers on 9/11.
Located on kilometer zero, the base for measuring roads in France, the towers of the memorial rise beyond the duty of memory. They symbolize a desire for renewal and for a less dogmatic religion as well as greater tolerance. Luminescent urns are suspended in both towers to remind us of the unfortunate fate of religious totalitarianism.
The original plans for Notre-Dame show two spires rising above the towers. After the cathedral was completed in the late twelfth century, it underwent several transformations, including those in the nineteenth century under the supervision of Eugène Viollet-le-Duc. According to the architect, “To restore an edifice means neither to maintain it, nor to repair it, nor to rebuild it; it means to reestablish it in a finished state, which may in fact never have actually existed at any given moment.”
Built of simple blocks and planks of wood, traces of the edifice stand upon the bases of the two towers of the cathedral of Notre-Dame.
A delicate extension humbly outlining the silhouette of a memorial, it is barely perceptible from the banks of the Seine. As a light construction without mass, permeable to wind and rain, the memorial connects to Paris and its citizens both visually and physically.
Every night, in both towers, the urns take on a celestial dimension, illuminating the cloudy skies of Paris with a star-studded composition.

  • State: Study
  • Year: 2009
  • Area: 1200m3

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