Autodesk is providing design and construction technology solutions, including support for Building Information Modeling (BIM), a clever data and geometric 3D modeling method, and all the technical know-how. For enhanced resilience against unforeseen catastrophes and repair, BIM is used to generate a historical digital record.
Since a fire destroyed Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral on 15 April 2019, a public organization devoted to the cathedral’s preservation and repair has been founded, and it recently declared Autodesk as its official supporter.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral is a truly magnificent architectural wonder of the world, and Autodesk Vice President of Business Strategy for Architecture, Engineering and Construction Design Solutions Nicolas Mangon stated: “We are humbled to participate in the restoration and future preservation of the Notre-Dame Cathedral. Through the French Fondation du Patrimoine (Heritage Foundation), we have contributed funds and technology to support the endeavor ever since the catastrophic fire two years ago, and this announcement further strengthens our commitment.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris
The cathedral church in Paris is known as Notre-Dame de Paris or Notre-Dame Cathedral. It stands out for its size, age, and architectural interest and is the most well-known of all the medieval Gothic cathedrals.
The ruins of two older churches, which were themselves preceded by a Gallo-Roman temple dedicated to Jupiter, were used as the foundation for Notre Dame, which is located at the eastern extremity of the Île de la Cité. The cathedral was started by Maurice de Sully, bishop of Paris, who around 1160 had the idea of combining the ruins of the two older basilicas into a single construction on a grander scale. Pope Alexander III lay the high altar’s foundation stone in 1163, and it was dedicated in 1189. By 1250, the choir, western facade, and nave were all finished, and during the following one hundred years, porches, chapels, and other adornments were added.
The Norte Dame Cathedral Fire Incident – April 2019
Paris’s Notre Dame cathedral caught fire underneath its roof. The building’s spire had fallen, the majority of its roof had been destroyed, and its top walls had been seriously damaged by the time the structure fire had been put out. Its stone vaulted ceiling, which mainly contained the blazing roof as it collapsed, saved the interior from significant damage.
Early in the emergency, several works of art and religious artifacts were taken to safety, but some suffered smoke damage and part of the outside art was destroyed or severely damaged. The cathedral’s altar, two pipe organs, and three rose windows from the 13th century all sustained minimal to no damage.
Autodesk’s BIM and Digital Twins to the Rescue
The city of Paris announced a competition to elicit innovative design solutions for the urban landscape surrounding the cathedral in order to bring forth a new vision for the future of Notre-Dame. The competition began in 2021. This includes the courtyard, its underground areas (parking garage and historical crypt), the public squares, the region around the Seine River, and the surrounding streets. Four worldwide teams of urban designers, architects, and landscape architects were asked by the city of Paris and Autodesk to take part in the challenge and remodel the area around this well-known landmark.
To further aid the teams during their development phases, Autodesk supplied knowledge along with a variety of tools and resources (including their BIM solution). The teams were provided a 3D representation of the current site in order to better comprehend and assess the region.
The area around Notre Dame will be completely redesigned under the direction of Bureau Bas Smets and includes the architect agency/urban planner GRAU and the architectural agency Neufville-Gayet for the historic component.
The three other teams, in addition to the one led by Bureau Bas Smets, are:
- Grafton Architects, h2o, and urban planner Urban Eco, led by landscape architect Michel Desvignes.
- Town planner Auxilia, the landscape architect Ateliers Jours, and the architecture firm of Aymeric Antoine & Pierre Dufour
- Urban-landscape designer Jacqueline Osty & associates, heritage architects Bernard Desmoulin and the Orma Architettura agency.
The winning design will be on view, along with those from the other teams, at the Pavillon de l’Arsenal in Paris.
All the teams were assisted by Autodesk in creating photorealistic 3D representations of their concepts, which gave the jury and the general audience a clear idea of what each team’s vision was. Additionally, city authorities feel that since so much of the architecture and landscape can be seen in a virtual environment before construction, there will be fewer mistakes and greater communication between them and the team.
The public entity that is committed to the preservation and restoration of Notre Dame is using the new innovative digital approach to enable cloud collaboration among stakeholders and rely on a common data environment to serve as a central repository for all project information so that all authorized stakeholders can have access to the most recent data and plans.
Autodesk was able to produce a 3D BIM model of the Notre Dame Cathedral as it was previous to the fire utilizing data generated using reality capture technology before the disaster. After the fire, Autodesk produced 3D comparison models using recent reality capture data.
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