Notre Dame fire
|Notre Dame seen here before the fire.|
On Monday 15 April 2019, at around 7pm, fire ripped through the iconic Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. By 9am the following day, the centuries-old masterpiece of French Gothic architecture had suffered catastrophic damage to its roof and some of its contents, while the 90m-high oak and lead spire over the crossing had collapsed completely – to the horror of stunned onlookers.
A building that had taken nearly 200 years to build had suffered almost irreparable damage in just a matter of hours. Fortunately, the Paris authorities were later to confirm that the structure itself had not been irreversibly damaged.
Thanks in part to the action of the 90 firefighters, the fire did not reach the towers on the front elevation, and generally the building’s walls remain structurally sound. But the timber roof has been completely destroyed, as have some of the religious artefacts. However, a full damage assessment had yet to be undertaken at the time of writing.
Within hours of the fire taking hold, president Macron vowed that the cathedral would be rebuilt within five years (although this timetable has been criticised as being political rather than practical). French businessmen were also quick to pledge more than €300m to a rebuilding fund. Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, also promised that city funds would go toward the rebuilding project, while the Ile-de-France regional government said it would donate a further €10m. An international fund-raising drive is expected to further boost the monies available.
The fire’s origin is as yet uncertain but is thought to be the result of ongoing renovation works. It is clear however, that the fire probably started in the roof space above the stone vaults of the interior, as it would have taken a long time to spread to the roof, and would likely have been noticed sooner, had it have started on the ground.
See also: Notre Dame, a conservation perspective.
 Notre Dame – a brief history
Building work on the cathedral began in 1163 during the reign of Louis VII but it was not until 1345 that construction was completed. Since then, the cathedral has seen numerous high-profile ceremonies, such as crowning Henry VI king of France, Napoleon Bonaparte’s coronation in 1804, and the beatification of Joan of Arc in 1919.
This story will be updated as events unfold.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
The Welsh Government has given the green light and a further £10M to a major new programme that will transform social housing across Wales, boost the economy and open the door to a new Welsh industry: the Optimised Retrofit Programme (ORP).
Culture across the country benefits as Lifeline grants from the latest round of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund will protect a further 162 heritage sites across the country.
Now the building long touted as a potential home for the Scottish Parliament stands as a symbol of a divided Scottish capital.
One of Britain’s last AA telephone boxes saved
AA Box 161 has now been listed. The telephone boxes were a sanctuary for motorists in distress, but of the hundreds across Britain just 21 remain.
The IHBC has noted that it fails to emphasise the need to carry out appropriate repairs as the vital precursor to installing retrofit measures.
A mapping tool that provides contractors and their suppliers with a central database of local Materials Exchange Platform (MEP) projects to help cut waste by finding a home for unused materials has been launched.
An air raid shelter, a pillbox cleverly disguised as a roofless cottage, a rare Chain Home radar defence tower, and a war memorial have been granted protection.
A planning application has been submitted by Derby City Council to knock down the Assembly Rooms – which has played host to the likes of Elton John, Iron Maiden, Take That, etc.
Specifically tailored for conservation projects, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has launched two brand new professional services contracts.
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has made a dramatic intervention into the zip wire row which has divided people, politicians and businesses in the city.