New design of the surroundings of Notre-Dame de Paris unveiled for the first time, supported by Autodesk

Last year, alongside the restoration of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral, the City of Paris, supported by Autodesk, launched a design competition to reimagine the urban landscape surrounding the cathedral. Four international multidisciplinary teams, led by architects, urban planners and landscape architects, were invited to submit their design proposals. The project site included the forecourt of the cathedral, its underground spaces and the spaces on the banks of the Seine.

Recently, the City of Paris announced that the team led by Bureau Bas Smets was designated by the jury as the winner of this international competition. The announcement was made by the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, accompanied by Emmanuel Grégoire, first Deputy Mayor of Paris.

Digital technologies are at the heart of the preservation and enhancement of French heritage
Autodesk, the competition’s technological partner, supported the City of Paris by providing its technological expertise throughout the competition. Autodesk Building Information Modeling (BIM) solutions were used to create a 3D model of the existing area surrounding Notre Dame Cathedral which competing teams used to understand site constraints.

Autodesk worked closely with the four competing teams to help them create photorealistic visualizations of their design proposals. The digital documents associated with the competition, as well as the models produced, were also available to be used between the four teams, the City of Paris and Autodesk to collaborate in real time on the Autodesk Construction Cloud platform. This style of collaboration has already been seen in the region, as engineers and construction experts used Autodesk 4D sequencing in Building Information Modeling (BIM), along with the design process taking place in Autodesk Revit, to create the one of the most beautiful and difficult in the world. build buildings, the Museum of the Future.

The automation of each software enabled immersive visualizations, with collaborators able to take virtual tours of the museum to check out each item. Any potential issues could be detected for the intricate facade, especially as the 3D calligraphy windows had to be properly aligned with the unique shape of the museum.

Likewise, by visualizing the project in 3D, the City of Paris foresees a reduction in errors and greater clarity and collaboration with the winning team. All designs will be available for public viewing, helping to illustrate to Parisians the future development of the surroundings of Notre-Dame.

“The 3D visualization of the candidates’ projects, using Autodesk technologies, enabled the jury to immerse themselves in the proposals for the requalification of this historic district of Paris, and to choose the best design. We hope that millions of visitors will enjoy this exceptional site once construction is complete,” said Emmanuel Grégoire, first deputy mayor of Paris.

Speaking about their winning design, Charlotte Fagart, landscape architect from Bureau Bas Smets, said: “The project rethinks the iconic public spaces around Notre-Dame as an assemblage of climatic atmospheres. The various working sessions with the Autodesk team made it possible to confirm the project hypothesis initially tested in the plan and the model. In addition, the model facilitated the understanding of the project by the jury by immersing it in different places and areas of the project.

“Through this new project, Paris is reaffirming its commitment to digital transformation and is now positioning itself as one of the first “cities of the future” by placing digital technology at the heart of its strategy for accelerating urban modernization”, says Nicolas Mangon, VP AEC (Architecture, Engineering, Construction) Industry Strategy at Autodesk. “Autodesk is proud to once again partner with the City of Paris on its digital journey. During this competition to reimagine the surroundings of Notre-Dame Cathedral, the use of an intelligent 3D model, immersive 3D visualization tools and the implementation of collaborative methodologies considerably accelerated the jury’s decision-making process. These tools will also allow Parisians and tourists alike to feel, experience and appreciate the richness of the history and heritage of Notre-Dame de Paris and its surroundings before the project is carried out.

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