School of Architecture to host Notre-Dame Cathedral restoration architects

Author: Carrie Rulli

Architects Philippe Villeneuve and Rémi Fromont, who are leading the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris, will visit the University of Notre Dame to deliver the John Burgee Lecture at 5:15 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27, in the Matthew and Joyce Walsh Family Hall of Architecture auditorium.

During their lecture, “Notre-Dame de Paris: Architecting a Legacy,” Villeneuve, chief architect of Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, and Fromont, chief architect of historical monuments in France, will speak about their restoration plans, efforts and progress after a devastating fire in April 2019.

"We are proud and honored to have these French architect colleagues visit our campus and share with us the progress of their work,” said Stefanos Polyzoides, the Francis and Kathleen Rooney Dean of Architecture.

Villeneuve, a licensed architect since 1989 and a chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, has led the reconstruction and restoration efforts since the 2019 fire. He was appointed architect in chief of historical monuments of the Domaine National de Chambord in 2011 and of Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral in 2013. 

Fromont, who received his degree from the École de Chaillot in 2014, carried out a survey of the Gothic frameworks of Notre-Dame Cathedral during his training. In the aftermath of the disaster, which destroyed the frameworks, this vital knowledge led to his being called upon by Villeneuve to aid in the restoration work.  

“Returning the building to its original form is an affirmation of the importance of the values that it has embodied over the centuries. The historical, spiritual and architectural connections between this most important building in the world dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary and our own 'Golden Dome' are deep and enduring,” Polyzoides said.

This is the first in the School of Architecture’s Fall Lecture Series, which provides a venue for students, faculty and the larger community to engage in critical thinking on current issues in architecture and urbanism. The talks also allow participants to interact with the distinguished practitioners, academics and theorists who shape the world’s natural and built environment. The lectures, which are free of charge and open to the public, will be offered both in person and live via Zoom. Registration is required for the virtual event.