Notre Dame rebuild proposal would bring solar glass, urban farm to cathedral roof

The "green" proposal would bring a 21st-century update to the 850-year-old cathedral.

Image source: Vincent Callebaut Architectures
  • Shortly after a fire destroyed Notre Dame's roof and spire in April, France announced it'd be accepting rebuild proposals from architects around the world.
  • One Paris firm has proposed a "green" design that would rebuild the Gothic cathedral's roof with a mixture of glass, oak and carbon fiber.
  • There's an ongoing debate in France as to whether the cathedral should be rebuilt exactly as it was, or with a more modern touch.
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Should France rebuild Notre Dame exactly as it was?

The lack of tall, strong oak trees poses something of a problem for the restoration effort.

Photo credit: Chesnot / Getty Images
  • A fire destroyed Notre Dame's 115-foot roof on April 15, immediately sparking a debate on how France should restore the cathedral.
  • Some argue that it should be rebuilt to its original specifications, while others say alternate materials would be a better options.
  • The debate calls to mind the philosophical thought experiment known as "The Ship of Theseus."
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Late historian's 3D map of Notre Dame can help France restore it to impressive detail

Digitally recording historical sites could serve as insurance in the case of disaster.

Photo credit: Dan Kitwood / Getty Images
  • Notre Dame, France's famous medieval cathedral, was severely damaged by a fire on Monday.
  • Fortunately, at least two recent projects have taken detailed 3D scans of the cathedral, which could help in restoration efforts.
  • As laser-scanning and digital imaging technology gets cheaper, some suggest we should digitally record historical sites in the event they get damaged, or worse.
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Photo credit: Matthew Cattell / Getty Images for Samsung Galaxy S8
  • New research uses radiocarbon dating to create a timeline of the construction of 2,410 megaliths across Europe and Britain.
  • The original builders were people believed to be solely hunter-gatherers who were actually also sailors.
  • The megaliths studied go back 7,000 years.
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4,000-year-old termite mounds are so vast they're visible from space

Long hidden under trees, it's utterly massive.

(Roy Funch)
  • This 4,000-year-old structure can be seen from space and wasn't built by humans.
  • The mounds are made up of 200 million mounds of earth.
  • They're still under construction today.
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