Bas Smets. Notre-Dame: a microclimatic approach
Landscape Architecture on Thursdays
© Bureau Bas Smets
In the era of climate change, urban heat islands are increasingly peaking worldwide. Bureau Bas Smets, leader of the team that won the competition to redesign the public spaces around Paris’s emblematic landmark Notre-Dame, developed a project specifically addressing this pressing issue. The design rationale reimagines the different existing urban figures - the forecourt, tree alignments, the riverbank – envisaging them in the double perspective of the collective and the climate. The team carried out detailed studies to develop solutions that improve the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI). The project unfolds as a sequence of climatic atmospheres that in turns provide cooling from the evaporation of water and shade from trees. A thin layer of water trickling occasionally down the main forecourt turns into a vast ephemeral pool mirroring the cathedral. The design transforms climatic constraints into a spatial potential.
Bureau Bas Smets, in collaboration with GRAU, Neufville-Gayet Architectes, Ingérop, and Franck Boutté Consultants.