Notre-Dame de Paris – The Heart of the Heart by Dominique Perrault Architecture

French architect Dominique Perrault shares his strong emotion towards the terrible event that devastated Notre Dame Cathedral through this short text

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▼法国建筑师多米尼克·佩罗,French architect Dominique Perrault


French architect Dominique Perrault shares his strong emotion towards the Notre Dame Cathedral

巴黎圣母院,这个巴黎中心中的中心,这个Île de la Cité岛上的珍宝,前几天刚刚经历了其历史上最艰难的时刻。在文化的世界中,巴黎圣母院这部戏剧让我们哽咽,让我们有所触动,每一幕情节的发展都牵动人心。而它也在提醒着我们,所有的建筑,乃至所有的艺术品,实际上都是那么脆弱的东西。现在,现实生活中的巴黎圣母院,便不幸地印证了这个事实,同时它也在提醒着我们,无论在哪里,建筑遗产的保护和曾经的建筑工艺都是不可或缺的。同时,这个令人心碎的时刻也向我们展示了建筑作为一个媒介所维系的情感世界,以及其普适性的文化价值、独特的象征力量和神秘的维度是如何滋养灌溉艺术、文学和个人世界的。

巴黎圣母院是一个绝对独特的地方,它位于Île de la Cité岛的中心地带,从罗马的卢泰西亚(Roman Lutetia),到大巴黎地区(Greater Paris),它都是独一无二的。对于每天都在建造历史和修复历史的建筑师来说,这场灾难无疑在他们的心中掀起了轩然大波。

我最难过的是,在2015年的时候,研究团队便与国家遗址保护中心(Center for National Monuments)的主席Philippe Belaval合作,致力于深入研究如何才能使Île de la Cité岛持续保持其城市中心地位。我们将这个被列入联合国教科文组织的世界遗产名录(UNESCO’s World Heritage List)的“岛上纪念碑”列为Île de la Cité岛未来发展的重点,希望公众能够参与进来,共同进行创新性的研究和实验。



最后,我们必须认识到这里的独特能量,从而使巴黎圣母院成为一个更加强大的存在,引起人们更广泛的共鸣,将其变形、放大、甚至提升至另一个维度。这座历史遗迹未来的利害关系是独一无二的。对于巴黎圣母院和其所在的Île de la Cité岛来说,它们必将再一次成为巴黎这座大都市的城市心脏。而这,也是一项最令人着迷的挑战。


Notre-Dame, the heart of the heart of Paris, treasure of the Île de la Cité, has just suffered the most trying moments in its long history. Across all lands and cultures of the world, this drama leaves us speechless, touching the hearts and arresting the gaze of everyone. It reminds us all how much architecture, as indeed every artefact, is a fragile thing. Notre-Dame is now the tragic proof that the preservation of our rich built heritage, the tangible traces of the great heights of craftsmanship that have been achieved, wherever they may be, is indispensable. This incandescent wound also reveals the emotional dimension carried by architecture and how its universal cultural value, its unique symbolic force, and its mythical dimension nourish the arts, literature and every individual’s own, personal geography.

Notre-Dame is an absolutely unique place, at the heart of the Île de la Cité, from Roman Lutetia to Greater Paris, a land unto itself. This disaster has aroused an immense wave of emotion in the hearts of architects who every day are building and rebuilding the history of architecture.

Tasked in 2015 with conducting an in-depth study of the means of ensuring the continued urban centrality of the Île de la Cité, in collaboration with Philippe Belaval, President of the Center for National Monuments, this event leaves me particularly heartbroken. We made this “island monument”, included on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the focus of innovative research and experimentation concerning the island’s future open to the participation of the public.

The rebuilding of Notre-Dame will be an extremely delicate undertaking, and we must not allow ourselves to be discouraged by the irreversible loss of the medieval ribbed roof, also known as “the forest”. Our heritage is a sedimentation deposited across the ages, with practically each century leaving its imprint on the cathedral. “Every wave of time superinduces its alluvion”¹. It will have to be rebuilt, and without altering the substance of its heritage.

Therefore, we are compelled to completely review our relation to our heritage and to believe in its capacity for resilience. Notre-Dame must be made to live again and the best way to protect it is to see it through a vision of the future, which, through beauty, will transcend a simple restitution.

Finally, the unique energy of this place must be marshalled to restore to it an even more powerful presence, a wider resonance, transfiguring, amplifying and exalting it into something else. The stakes regarding the future of this monument are unique. For Notre-Dame and its island must once again incarnate the beating heart of a city that has become a vast metropolis. A most fascinating challenge indeed.

Written by Dominique Perrault, Architect, Member of the Institut de France, 16/04/2019

Note: 1 Victor Hugo, Notre-Dame de Paris (1831)
“Every wave of time superinduces its alluvion, every generation deposits its stratum upon the structure, every individual brings his stone. Such is the process of the beavers, such that of the bees, such that of men. The great emblem of architecture, Babel, is a bee-hive.”

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