They say there are no bad ideas in brainstorming, but whoever this "they" are, they've never been in a brainstorming meeting. Bad ideas are thrown out all the time! In fact, most ideas are bad! But you write all of them down anyway because a bad idea can turn into an actually really good idea.
That's what's going on as renovations begin on France's Notre Dame Cathedral. With a little bit of time between the tragic fire that caused the beautiful building's spire to fall and today, France is taking steps to rebuild. But they're not going to rebuild it exactly the same, oh no. France is taking suggestions.
And some of those suggestions are really and truly bonkers.
While one architecture company has already pitched the so-bad-it-might-actually-be-good idea of an entire rooftop-long community swimming pool, some of the other ideas are just as out-there...
In April, the world watched in disbelief as the Notre Dame Cathedral, one of the most beautiful buildings in all the world, caught on fire.
via: ShutterstockThis fire didn't just cause the destruction of a building. It caused the destruction of countless pieces of art and a hugely important piece of France's culture.
The spire and roof of the Cathedral were both damaged in the blaze.The iconic spire, part of the famous silhouette of the Notre Dame Cathedral, collapsed in on itself, plunging through the roof. It was incredibly sad to see.
Thankfully, the Cathedral was under renovation at the time.
via: ShutterstockNot only were there no deaths and only one serious injury, the Notre Dame fire claimed less countless art than it could have, as construction on the building meant a lot of the priceless pieces were in a different location at the time.
The rose windows also survived...
via: ShutterstockOne of the bigger follow-up stories to the Notre Dame fire came when fire workers announced that the famous rose windows were not lost, as was initially feared.
... as did the Crown of Thorns.
via: Getty ImagesHold up, Notre Dame has the crown of thornes? The one that Jesus wore? Jesus the Christ-child?! King of Kings, Song of God, and all that?! Whoa, so cool. That guy's famous.
Now, the time to rebuild Notre Dame has come.
via: Getty ImagesObviously France was not going to leave Notre Dame as is, so the plan is to build it back up to its former glory. And with a month having gone by, architecture firms have had time to get some ideas on paper, vis a vis how they would go about recapturing that glory.
Emmanuel Macron has said the Cathedral will be rebuilt "within five years."The French President made this promise in an address to his country shortly after the fire was contained. And a lofty promise it was...
Remember, it took almost 200 years to build the Cathedral the first time around.So uh, maybe you might wanna think about, you know, tempering your expectations there Mac.
Macron has said he's open to a "contemporary gesture", and that any new spire would be “adapted to the techniques and the challenges of our era.""Contemporary"? "Techniques of our era"? Oh god, we're gonna get a high-tech bright flashing light Notre Dame Cathedral, aren't we? It's going to have blue glowing lights and touch-screens all over it, isn't it?
France is getting the ideas as to how it'll rebuild Notre Dame by holding a contest.I mean, that does sound fun! Contests are a great way to figure out who's the best at any one thing, be it running or writing poetry or... whatever those Seinfeld cats are getting up to.
That means architecture firms are coming up with their own ideas.Oh, it's that kind of contest. Where everyone just submits their idea and the head honcho makes a choice. Not really, like, a track-and-field day-sort of contest. That makes sense... but it's much less fun.
And since everyone wants to be the architect to rebuild Notre Dame...
via: ShutterstockImagine the prestige of being the one architect still alive today who can say that their designs are up there on the Notre Dame Cathedral! I know that if I heard that architect telling their story in a bar, I'd buy 'em a drink on the spot.
... They're trying their best to stand out.And since this gig is an absolute free-drinks-for-life-just-by-telling-your-architect-story-in-a-bar kind of gig, you know every architect in France is going after it.
That's lead to some interesting pitches, according to The Guardian, including a greenhouse roof...
via: ShutterstockHow nice would it be to look up in Notre Day Cathedral and be able to see the sky? Actually, I'm gonna say "not that nice" — I can see the sky anywhere! I go to the Notre Dame Cathedral for cool lookin' stained-glass apostles, thankyouverymuch.
... a full-on park...
via: ShutterstockOkay, this would be nice, so long as at least some of the trees were twisted into sculptures of the apostles.
... and a stained-glass spire.
via: ShutterstockNow here we go — just re-do the spire and pack it full of that beautiful stained glass we know and love! Maybe throw in an apostle or two for your boy over here? (I just think the apostles were all really cool, is all. I mean, Jesus picked them to be his friends. Jesus.)
But the craziest (and best) pitch? A rooftop swimming pool.
via: ShutterstockAgain, according to The Guardian, Stockholm's Ulf Mejergren Architects (UMA) "has drawn up plans for a cross-shaped pool covering the entire roof area, watched over by the statues of the 12 apostles that escaped the inferno as they had been removed for restoration."
UMA would like the theoretical roof pool to be open to the public."A cathedral is in our opinion not an isolated island in the urban fabric, it belongs to the city and to the people," UMA said to World Architecture.
To be fair, Notre Dame is a public space.
via: ShutterstockAnd we were all reminded of that fact during the fire, when our most basic of friends posted pictures that were like, "Oh, there's a tragedy happening at Notre Dame! Here I am inserting myself into the story by posting a picture of me in front of it!"
But I doubt the folks going to mass will want to be splashed from the roof when they're going inside.You know your Grandma doesn't want to get her yellow pantsuit and white Easter bonnet all wet!
Twitter was delighted with the idea.
Everyone: How do we make it fireproof? Architects: ROOFTOP POOL https://t.co/WiOtwOexxg— Anduary (@Anduary)1557961741.0
The Lord of the Rings tower.
#UneFlechePourNotreDame Quand tu veux participer mais que t’es une daube THEY RE TAKING THE HOBBITS TO NOTRE DAME https://t.co/YR4cHM5DSp— Shamrock (@Shamrock)1555593976.0
A sweet-lookin' rocket ship.Not a fan of this one. The Notre Dame Cathedral is an awe-inspiring sight, but it is nothing compared to seeing the entire world from above. Are we going to ruin astronauts' perception of Notre Dame by immediately sending them into space?
A call to our collective nerd-dom.
Only one religion #jedi #UneFlechePourNotreDame https://t.co/VaFvYPOuCN— ⚔️ H3nryMetΔL ⚔️ (@⚔️ H3nryMetΔL ⚔️)1555625043.0
A quick stop to grab a sweet treat.
Make #NotreDame great again 😜 #UneFlechePourNotreDame https://t.co/D9NHxTxYob— RoulottedelaScience (@RoulottedelaScience)1555599002.0
This lady, who I don't actually know, to be honest, but the idea of a giant woman on top of Notre Dame is very very funny to me.Much like Steven Universe, all I wanna do/ is see you turn into/ a giant woman/ a giant woman. In this instance, the "you" is "the spire on the Notre Dame Cathedral."
And finally, an idea that would make Game of Thrones super-queen Cersei Lannister happy...
Donnez Notre-Dame aux éléphants!! #uneflechepournotredame #elephants #dada https://t.co/dXstYsLSCP— derdiedada cllc.tv (@derdiedada cllc.tv)1557946587.0
Whatever plan is eventually decided on, Notre Dame will almost certainly not look exactly the way we remember it.Alexandre Chassang, an architect who wants to build a glass spire, said, “We’re not obliged to rebuild identically."
But is that a good idea?
via: ShutterstockMaybe Notre Dame should be rebuilt exactly as it was? I mean, it's stood for over 850 years. Perhaps we could lean into that, and know that Notre Dame Cathedral is the one place where history remains unchanged; where no matter what shifts occur in our world, culturally or naturally, we can always count on consistency.