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City of Paris, supported by Autodesk, launches design competition to reimagine surrounding area of Notre-Dame de Paris

Four international teams will submit proposals for the redesign of the urban landscape surrounding the cathedral

In parallel with the reconstruction of Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral, the City of Paris has launched an international design competition to reimagine the area surrounding the cathedral. The reimagination of the area will provide Parisians and tourists the opportunity to further appreciate the rich history and heritage of Notre-Dame de Paris and its surroundings.

To help accomplish this, Autodesk will provide technological expertise throughout the competition. We will also use our Building Information Modelling (BIM) solutions to create a 3D model of the existing area surrounding the Notre-Dame cathedral so competing teams can better understand the constraints of the site. The four competing teams will use the model to build their final design proposals.

“Thanks to this partnership with Autodesk, we are able to visualize the candidates’ design proposals in 3D and improve the way the teams reimagine the future of this exceptional site. Parisians, and all those around the world who appreciate the Notre-Dame cathedral setting, will be able to immerse themselves in the transformation of this area,” said Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy mayor of Paris.

Model of Notre-Dame de Paris and project area created using Autodesk software

Notre-Dame de Paris: Revival of an exceptional site

The four finalists—selected from a total of 39 entrants—must take the following spaces into account:

  • The forecourt and its underground spaces, including the archaeological crypt and parking on two levels
  • From the Jean XXIII and Île-de-France squares (located behind the cathedral) to the tip of the Ile de la Cité
  • The banks of the Seine River
  • Adjacent streets: Rue du Cloître-Notre-Dame, Rue de la Cité, and Quai de l’Archevêché
Notre-Dame surrounding area

Visual representation of the project site: Notre-Dame surrounding area

Digital technologies at the heart of French heritage

Autodesk has deep roots in France and supports some of the most iconic projects in Paris and across the country. Following in the footsteps of a similar competition launched to reimagine the Eiffel Tower forecourt in 2018, the City of Paris continues its digital transformation journey and is now positioned as one of the first ‘cities of the future,’ putting digital technologies at the heart of its urban modernization.

Notre-Dame surrounding area

Visual representation of the project site: Notre-Dame surrounding area

Throughout the competition, all teams and the City will embrace open standards like openBIM and IFC (Industry Foundation Class), and will collaborate using Autodesk Docs, the cloud-based common data environment (CDE) for document management and communication. Autodesk will provide the 3D digital model of the existing area surrounding the Notre-Dame cathedral and our software will be used to generate virtual tours for each of the projects that will be shared with the judging panel. It will also be used to create the final interactive model and virtual tour of the winning project.

“Autodesk is proud to continue our collaboration with the City of Paris and serve as a technology partner for the redevelopment of the area surrounding the Notre-Dame cathedral. By using cutting-edge 3D design, BIM, and engineering technologies, the city is positioned as the city of the future, preserving its historical legacy in digital form and unlocking the imagination and creativity of the design teams for the enjoyment of future generations,” said Nicolas Mangon, vice president of AEC Industry Strategy at Autodesk.

Participants in the competition are made up of multidisciplinary teams led by architects, urban planners, and landscape architects and accompanied by specialists in heritage and historical monuments, environment, programming of public spaces, and technical design offices. The four teams are:

  • Landscape designer, Michel Desvignes, with architecture practices, Grafton Architects (Pritzker and Equerre d’Argent Prizes winners) and h20 and town planner, Urban Eco
  • Architectural firm, Aymeric Antoine and Pierre Dufour, with landscape designer, Ateliers jours and town planner, Auxili
  • Urban planner, Jacqueline Osty and associates, with the architect Bernard Desmoulin and the Orma Architettura practice
  • Landscape designer, Bureau Bas Smets, with the GRAU and Neufville-Gayet architecture practices

The construction is expected to start in 2024 and will be completed in 2028.