The designs for Notre Dame's new roof are eco-friendly and cool AF.

On April 15th, France lost part of one of its most iconic buildings — Notre Dame Cathedral. However, fundraising efforts for the rebuild began quickly, and now there are several design firms competing for the job.

France also opened the bidding up to international designers, and that really fanned the flame of the competition. Within the past month, grand design plans have been pouring in, and some of the most interesting ones go beyond historical restoration to directly address one of the world's greatest challenges — climate change.

Hey, the Paris Agreement doesn't have to be the only innovative green initiative in France, right?


One particularly cool, eco-friendly design is from French design firm Vincent Callebaut. Their "Palingenesis" design is not only a beautiful glass structure, it would also be a light-absorbing greenhouse that's meant to provide the Cathedral with 100% clean energy.

“The new wooden frame is covered with a three-dimensional crystal glass dress subdivided into faceted diamond-shaped elements," the firm noted in a press release. "These crystals consist of an organic, active layer made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen, which absorbs light and transforms it into power. This energy, stored in hydrogen fuel cells, will be directly redistributed throughout the cathedral.”

The firm also plans to build an urban garden inside the structure that would be fertilized by aquaponics (natural fish-made fertilizer). The sizable-sounding crops would mostly go to underserved communities in Paris, making the entire design beautiful, environmentally sustainable, and socially responsible.

But I'll just shut up and let you look at some more pictures of the awesome thing.

Photo via Vincent Callebaut/Instagram

Vincent Callebaut isn't alone in their idea to create a green space on top of Notre Dame. Another French firm also wants to create a greenhouse, but one that's only accessible to birds and insects.

“[The] Notre Dame tragedy should serve the cause of the environment, the greatest struggle of humanness, by being a new world symbol for the present and future generations," studio director Abel Guillaume told Fast Company. people would still be able to enjoy them and the space, but they'll have to do it from behind glass.

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NOTRE DAME - Proposal Une proposition de @summumarchi , donner l’accès aux combles de notre dame pour en faire un parc commémoratif, aux couleurs pourpres en mémoire de l’incendie, tout en profitant de cet énorme élan de générosité à travers les dons pour en faire un sanctuaire pour les animaux et insectes toujours plus menacés dans les villes. Que cette reconstruction serve l’environnement, et démontre au reste du monde le savoir faire de nos compagnons français à travers une architecture magnifiée, technique, intemporelle, au plus haut niveau de ce que l’on sait faire. Un symbole pour les générations futures. #summumarchi #summum #architecture #archi #architects #archidaily #light #dwellspire #house #home #office #villa #lifestyle #archilovers #architecturelovers #architecture_hunter #render #art #design #luxe #paris #notredame #notredamedeparis #god #dieu #church #ecology #environment #nddp

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Studio Nab also wants to provide a refuge for insects, but a specific kind of insect that's already native to Notre Dame — bees. 180,000 bees have resided on the Cathedral since 2013, and thankfully survived the fire. Studio Nab's greenhouse structure would provide them with a safe space that's open to the public so people can learn about the importance of bees and how to properly maintain urban agriculture.

Photo via Studio NAB

One idea that's somewhat speculative is Studio Drift's plan to use recycled plastic found in the ocean to create a new roof for the cathedral. They claim redoing the roof in wood would require cutting down lots of trees whereas upcycling plastic waste is sustainable, and whatever they save in cost they plan to put back into the efforts to clean up the oceans.

It sounds nice in theory, but since the other firms above are using glass and adding more sustainable elements, this idea trails a bit behind theirs.

That said, it's great to see so many designers attempting to incorporate the planet's future into a design for a relic from the past. It'll be exciting to see which one of these ambitious projects wins out in the end.

Heroes

Andy Grammer, the pop singer and songwriter behind feel-good tunes like "Keep Your Head Up," "Back Home," and "Don't Give Up on Me," has a new album out—and it is seriously fabulous. Titled simply "Naive," Grammer says it's "all about how seeing the good in todays world can feel like a rebellious act."

"I wrote this album for the light bringers," Grammer shared on Facebook. "The people who choose to see the good even in the overwhelming chaos of the bad. The smilers who fight brick by brick to build an authentic smile everyday, even when it seems like an impossible thing to do. For those who have been marginalized as 'sweet' or 'cute' or 'less powerful' for being overly positive. To me optimism is a war to be fought, possibly the most important one. If I am speaking to you and you are relating to it then know I made this album for you. You are my tribe. I love you and I hope it serves you. Don't let the world turn down your shine, we all so badly need it."

Reading that, it's easy to think maybe he really is naive, but Grammer's positivity isn't due to nothing difficult ever happening in his life. His mom, Kathy, died of breast cancer when Grammer was 25. He and his mother were very close, and her life and death had a huge impact on him.

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Culture
via Stratford Festival / Twitter

Service dogs are invaluable to their owners because they are able to help in so many different ways.

They're trained to retrieve dropped Items, open and close doors, help their owners remove their clothes, transport medications, navigate busy areas such as airports, provide visual assistance, and even give psychological help.

The service dog trainers at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs in Canada want those who require service dogs to live the fullest life possible, so they're training dogs on how to attend a theatrical performance.

The adorable photos of the dogs made their way to social media where they quickly went viral.

On August 15, a dozen dogs from Golden Retrievers to poodles, were treated to a performance of "Billy Elliott" at the Stratford Festival in Ontario, Canada. This was a special "relaxed performance" featuring quieter sound effects and lighting, designed for those with sensory issues.

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"It's important to prepare the dogs for any activity the handler may like to attend," Laura Mackenzie, owner and head trainer at K-9 Country Inn Working Service Dogs, told CBC.

"The theater gives us the opportunity to expose the dogs to different stimuli such as lights, loud noises, and movement of varying degrees," she continued. "The dogs must remain relaxed in tight quarters for an extended period of time."

The dogs got to enjoy the show from their own seats and took a break with everyone else during intermission. They were able to familiarize themselves with the theater experience so they know how to navigate through crowds and fit into tight bathroom stalls.

via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter


via Stratford Festival / Twitter

"About a dozen dogs came to our relaxed performance, and they were all extremely well-behaved," says Stratford Festival spokesperson Ann Swerdfager. "I was in the lobby when they came in, then they took their seats, then got out of their seats at intermission and went back — all of the things we learn as humans when we start going to the theater."

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The dogs' great performance at the trial run means that people who require service animals can have the freedom to enjoy special experiences like going to the theater.

"It's wonderful that going to the theater is considered one of the things that you want to train a service dog for, rather than thinking that theater is out of reach for people who require a service animal, because it isn't," Swerdfager said.

The Stratford Festival runs through Nov. 10 and features productions of "The Merry Wives of Windsor," "The Neverending Story," "Othello," "Billy Elliot," "Little Shop of Horrors," "The Crucible" and more.

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