studio NAB imagines an educational and inclusive greenhouse on the roof of notre dame

studio NAB imagines an educational and inclusive greenhouse on the roof of notre dame

in little over a week since fire devastated the notre dame cathedral of paris, there has been endless debate, numerous comments, and even proposed designs proliferating the internet and social media. among the many responses, studio NAB present their concept of how to restore the great architectural icon, which they hope will feed the all-important conversation and add an element of reflection as to how the building could be transformed to focus on issues concerning today’s society. 

studio NAB imagines an educational and inclusive greenhouse on the roof of notre dame

view from inside the greenhouse of the plantation areas and learning space

all images courtesy of studio NAB



studio NAB pose the idea of a rooftop greenhouse, allowing the notre dame to embrace and become part of environmental, educational and social integration. their proposal intends to seize the intended restructuring as an opportunity to create a place where conservation, enrichment of an exceptional heritage and the challenges of society’s ecology and equal opportunities are all taken into account.

studio NAB imagines an educational and inclusive greenhouse on the roof of notre dame
view of the new apiary in the paris skyline



the design proposal comprises of a huge educational greenhouse which spans over the entire roof. in addition, the destroyed spire is reimagined as an apiary, housing a large number of beehives and becoming the heart of the concept. the greenhouse is imagined as a place to enable the professional reintegration of the poor by learning urban agriculture, horticulture and permaculture while reconnecting children to nature and educating them through workshops.

studio NAB imagines an educational and inclusive greenhouse on the roof of notre dame

overview, notre dame de paris, its arrow, its apiary and its educational greenhouse



the burnt oak framework, nicknamed the forest, will be reused to create all the planters and facilities present in the greenhouse. the design also respects the original silhouette of the building and the different figures that inhabited it. the roof cover is imagined in a gold-tone steel structure and filled with glass panels, all respecting the initial sequencing of the roofs. with this project, studio NAB aims to invigorate debate into the future restoration while also demonstrating their idea of creating a place that helps address the most pressing issues within our current world. 



project info:


project name: ‘notre dame de paris in green for all of us’

project location: notre dame cathedral, paris, france

architect: studio NAB


designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.


edited by: lynne myers | designboom

  • I love this it!

    beachcomber says:
  • This is brilliant – for all sorts of reasons from bringing us closer to the earth, sustainablity and if you want to go the spiritual route, closer to God and Heaven and the stars … Also, it could be finished in a year.

    beachcomber says:
  • Just sad how Architect’s ego has no bounds.
    They are willing to carelessly butcher a piece of fine heritage just to add their mark.
    Just back off.

    K.G. says:
  • Design Boom should stop promoting such posting on Notre Dame. I’m sure this guy did his best to reinvent Notre Dame. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t deserve to be even a model maker intern at Viollet Le Duc practice. This NAB design is not just entertaining and speculative. It denies dramatically the spiritual aspect of the cathedral and the design quality that burnt last week. The spike design compare to Viollet Le Duc one is representative of this lack of attention (and maybe skill). His minimalistic embarrassing tower, that would better fit in a crop field as a lightning rod. Desperately underdesign and unrespectful. Regarding the roof structure: except the material chosen, the structural design is made for a standardized farm not the main cathedral of France.
    Furthermore, regarding the suggested hybrid use, I think you can’t apply the common “sustainable bullshit” to such projects, you better keep applying such logic to shopping malls.
    It’s sad to figure that after nine centuries of practice, architects can’t propose a better approach than a foolish Instagramable project. Notre Dame is the heritage of almost a millennium year of western European techniques developed through ages: woodworking, stereotomy, etc… How can a design disrespect that much history? I would advise Nicolas Abdelkader to step back a bit and read publications on French Architecture. For example by Viollet Le Duc, (open source thereé_de_l’architecture_française_du_XIe_au_XVIe_siècle )
    Uninstall Instagram, read books and design more meticulously.

    OMG says:
  • Fantastic. It gives the church an opportunity to address modern social issues with the poor, like food reliability, nutrition, and conservation, adds a design representative of this era to all of the evolutions of past eras, and wiuldngive the tourists another aspect to appreciate besides hiking up the tower. I love it.

    Socraticone says:
  • Hey K.G., how bout you tell us how you REALLY feel?

    Contron says:
  • Magnifique projet plein d’humanité, merci Studio NAB !

    Jules says:
  • is nothing Sacred? Imagine how the builders of this great cathedral would feel knowing 100 yrs of back breaking labor was not only destroyed in the fire but now subject to the whims so called social issues.Does everything have to be the subject of sustainability which is hogwash anyway.Too much brain washing and this sacred architecture should not be ruined by a need for a political statement. We can build a damn greenhouse anywere.

    Chantal says:
  • Very cool, but not for the Notre Dame. Build your bee spire somewhere else.

    Annika Orne says:
  • Good proposal. This is also a considerable reality seeing how France owns this pile of stone. However, it would be a good idea to include the original statues that survived the roof fire.

    Jared says:
  • Cool idea but definitely not for Notre Dame. That would be beyond weird. Original look and feel gone for ever, for the sake of standing out as sustainable because it’s currently cool. If you’re building a new museum, may be, not for Notre Dame.

    Edite says:
  • I think all exploration is worthwhile. Some say to simply restore it to the “before”, is to erase the fact it has changed. The Church has evolved for many years, and was built on the foundation site of a Roman Temple dedicated to Jupiter. And more before that. We’re give an opportunity to evolve yet again, let’s embrace it!

    Scott says:

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