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Notre-Dame Design Competition

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Jennifer Cole, AIA & Michael J. Snyder, AIA

ID: 495

Designer's Choice Award

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ID: 495
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Esprit de Miséricorde, Lumière du Monde¬

Spirit of Mercy, Light of the World

A Spire and Sculpture for Notre Dame, the People of France, and the World.


Aspiring to be majestic, but humble like Christ, the design represents God’s love and mercy for humanity as manifested on the day of Pentecost. (Acts 2:1-6) The gothic arch transcends time and is reimagined as the Holy Spirit hovering above the Cathedral through an ethereal stainless steel expression of both gentle tongues of fire and the dove of the Holy Spirit. The delicate and powerful arches spiral upward in praise toward a light filled Cross representing Christ as the victorious light of life. (John 8:12)

Ceiling and Roof

Honoring the legacy and ingenuity of the people of France and the significance of Notre Dame as a world heritage site, the Cathedral ceiling will be rebuilt to preserve the acoustics of the space and interior spatial quality as enhanced by the light of stained glass windows for the experience of future generations. The roof will be built to honor the language of the original roof, but made new and more sustainable by integrating a system of wind turbines and invisible solar cells disguised at the roof ridge and at roof panels to generate electricity providing a more sustainable future for Paris.

Plaza Sculpture

Connecting visitors to the concept and language of the spire, a nine piece sculpture of mirrored stainless steel will take flight above the plaza and reflected through pools of water. Each of the nine pieces will be inscribed with one of the nine fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and embody the wings of the Holy Spirit in motion: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  According to Ethnologue, over 7000 languages are spoken around the world. The complete Bible has been translated into approximately 700 languages with the New Testament translated into over 1,500 languages. As languages from around the world were understood on the day of Pentecost, the nine words will be translated into all languages of the world connecting the Cathedral and the Holy Spirit (counselor and advocate) to all of humanity acting as a Rosetta Stone for God’s Word.  Visitors will be invited to touch and make paper rubbings of the words as a reminder of their visit. Each sculpture will be inscribed with a QR code or link to nine rotating world charitable organizations striving to bring peace, love, service and mercy to all parts of the globe.

Hope Design Collaborative

Jennifer Cole, AIA and Michael J. Snyder, AIA

(San Diego, CA, USA)  (State College, PA, USA)

Jennifer Cole, AIA & Michael J. Snyder, AIAJennifer Cole, AIA & Michael J. Snyder, AIAJennifer Cole, AIA & Michael J. Snyder, AIAJennifer Cole, AIA & Michael J. Snyder, AIA

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