EMERALD CITY

RESIDENCE, COMMERCIAL, COMPLEX


Site :PhuDien, Hanoi, Vietnam
Site Area : 8,69 ha
Building Area : 472648m²
Total Area : 3.864.994m²

BCI AWARDS

2012 - 2017 BCI TOP10/
TOP 10 BCI CHAU A

We've got BCI award 2 time in 2012 and 2017
BCI Asia Awards (BCIAA) - Top 10 Architect Awards
honors the most commercially significant architects
in HK, MLS, PLP, SGP, TLD and Vietnam

U-Silk City

RESIDENCE, COMMERCIAL, COMPLEX
Site : Van Khe, Hanoi, Vietnam
Site Area : 92,107m²
Building Area : 26,793m²
Total Area : 681,821m²

Celve Complex

SPORTS, COMMERCIAL COMPLEX
Site : Van Phu, Ha Ðong, Hanoi, Vietnam
Site Area : 65,606m²
Building Area : 30,383m²
Total Area : 772,347m²

D27e SEVEN STARS

OFFICE, APARTMENT COMPLEX
Site : CauGiay, Hanoi, Vietnam
Site Area : 22,256m²
Building Area : 6,524m²
Total Area : 162,806m²

DRAGON–PIA RESORT

CONDO, ENTERTAIMENT, MARINA
Site :Nha Trang, An Vien, Viet nam
Site Area : 21,974m²
Building Area : 8,081m²
Total Area : 103,923m²

CAU GIE-NINH BINH EXPRESS
SERVICE AREA

SERVICE AREA, COMPLEX MALL
Site : Ha Nam, Viet nam
Site Area :18,562m²
Building Area : 6,012m²

E4-19 COMPLEX

APARTENT COMMERCIAL COMPLEX
Site : Cau Giay, Ha noi, Viet nam
Site Area : 4,450m²
Building Area : 2,059m²
Total Area : 51,609m²

YAOUNDÉ HOTEL

HOTEL, SERVICE APARTENT, CONFERENCE
Site : Yaounde, Cameroon
Site Area : 6ha
Building Area : 3,059m²

recent


Our News

2019/06/15

LONG BIEN BRIDGE - WHO IS THE DESIGNER?


Long Bien Bridge is a historical construction that had built in a 3-year period ( form 1898 to 1902) by the French. It is the first firm bridge that connect the Hanoi mainland with Long Bien District which include 2 motorbike lanes and 1 railway in the middle. It was the main entrance for people and goods from the eastern area to get to the capital.  
  



It is obvious, that the Long Bien bridge has the France Architecture and It was built by the French. There was, However, a presumption among Vietnamese people about who drawn this historical bridge. Most People thought that was Gustave Eiffel, who is synonymous with the Eiffel tower - the Icon of France. After a thorough inspect, we found it was erroneous, Eiffel and his company did involve in the competition to gain the project and they had their own design but were not approved by the government. Eventually, Daydé & Pillé's architects won the bid and started designing the construction. 


If we pay more attention, it will be easy to find out the evident.


Until now, there are several other bridges was built to connect the 2 parts of Hanoi. Some people said it is time for The Long Bien Bridge to retire. However, this was still allowed to remain as a historical and architecture Icon rather than it's transportation function.







2019/06/11

VIET TRI KINGDOM PALACE

VIET TRI KINGDOM PALACE

Plan ADD and Kosy group is stratetic partners. We corporate to design the new city in Viet Tri - Phu Tho.
The location is really impresive, project is located on the main road goes to Hung King zone from the HaNoi Lao Cai Highways.

Project scale: 84.5ha
Popullation: 15,500 people
Landuse: New urban city - Villa, townhouse, apartment, commercial and Social buidings.
Developer: Kosy group.
PlanADD's work scope: Master planning 1/2000 and 1/500












2019/06/10

PARTING MR.TAN - THE MODEL TEAM LEADER - ADD'S SPECIALITY

As we have known before, ADD group is structured by several subsidiary companies namely PLAN ADD, SE ADD and ADD GLOBAL. The Plan ADD is an architecture firm, which achieved a wide range of award and rank top 10th of architect in Vietnam. We offers a host of designing, construction consulting services, you can name several remarkable projects such as: U-Silk City, An Vien Dragon Pia, Eco Plus Laocai Hotel,...
To accomplish such huge number of achievements, Plan ADD gathers a team of young talent architecture from both Korea and Vietnam with a mutual desire - " Bring better quality of life to people through our design". And to manage those young architect, we have 2 senior team leaders, Mr. Do Ngoc Tan is one of the 2 leaders travelling with Plan ADD for roughly 3 years (from 2016).


Mr. Tan does not only possess a great experience and capacity to deal with the project but also have a strength bond with other fellows, especially with the new members.  

Hado FC VINA Construction site.

Hung Vuong Hotel

However, "All good things must come to an end". Mr. Tan decided to get a move in his career, and he officially left our Plan ADD to challenge himself in another environment. We hope he will success in the way he choose and someday in the future the ADD can cooperate with him in some other project.

 Quang Binh trip is the way we say goodbye to Mr. Tan

His contribution to ADD is unforgettable.

2019/06/04

Quang Binh Trip - ADD'S SPECIALITY

Quang Binh is a province in North Central Coast Vietnam. This province is located at the narrowest place according to the east-west direction of the S-shaped strip of Vietnam (40.3 km following the shortest path from the Lao border to the South China Sea).
Quang Binh - the intestine of the Central region, is the charming place with many famous scenic spots captivating people, historical monuments and the world's natural heritage along many delicious specialties.
And we decided to choose this coastal province for our holiday to strengthen the bond among colleagues. It was a 3-day trip.
a twelve- hour sleep on an unforgettable night train. 


It was rain in Hanoi but Dong Hoi had an favorable weather for a trip.





let go ride.





we decided to discover a cave in the last day and it was...

... MASSIVE


HAENGSUNG ELECTRONICS VN FACTORY

HAENGSUNG ELECTRONICS VN FACTORY

Site area: 9ha
Construction ratio: 55%
Phase: Workshop 1 & 2 + office
Total GFA: ~22,150m2
Total Construction cost: 6,000,000 USD

ADD work scope: Construction, Design, Permission,
Year: 2018-2019

HAENGSUNG ELECTRONICS  Công ty 100% vốn đầu tư Hàn Quốc, chuyên sản xuất, lắp ráp linh kiện điện tử, điện thoại, máy giặt, ...









2019/06/03

YOUNG BO VINA PH.III

Lot G3, Que Vo Industrial Zone, Nam Son commune, Bac Ninh

대지면적  :   8,463m2

건축면적 :  Workshop 4,777m2, Utility 496m2, Parking 113m2, Guard House 24m2

연면적 :  8,660m2 

건폐율 : 60.89% 




2019/05/07

ADD 건설 Group은 누구인가요?




ADD는 누구인가요?


ADD 건설 Group 은 건축사[㈜플랜애드 건축사 사무소]가 만든 회사답게 의   
GROUP 의 구조를 미리 설계하고 조각했다고 할수있다

먼저는 베트남  PLAN ADD VETNAM [㈜플랜애드 베트남사무소]를 세우고
부족한 자재를 공급하기 위해 ADD GLOBAL [건축 자재무역] 만들고
연약지반이 많은 베트남의 기술적인 결함을 보안코자 SE ADD [연약지반 토목 컨설팅] 회사를 설립하고

투자자들의 초기 정확한 판단을 위한 부동산 정보를 제공하고자 ADD CONSULTING [부동산 컨설팅]
그리고 설계부터 공장 까지 건설해주는 ADD CONSTRUCTION  [에이디디 건설 ]
호텔과 비지니스 업무공간을 제공하는  ADD SERVICE 도 운영중이다


ADD는 영문뜻 그대로 더하다, (더 노력하다) 뜻이 있으며

과정을 존중하는 디자인 철학과 Active !, Different !, Dream !, 이란 심플한 슬로건도있다

여러개를 하다보니 솔직히 특별히 잘하는것이 없다
하지만 베트남에서는 복합적인  서비스와 정보제공이 더 중요하다는 판단을 했기때문이다

더 노력해서 잘해주고 싶은 욕심에 건설관련 계열사들로 만들어 온것 같다




그래도 잘하는게 있다면 내용은 ?

건축사라면  당연 좋은 작품을 만들어야죠
2007년 국제 현상에서 당선된  베트남에서 하노이 반케 U- City 50층 규모(약3,000세대)의 주상복합 아파트, 꿔워자이 주상복합, 대우 CLEVE 아파트, ICTS 4성급 호텔, 다낭 U 호텔 등
2012 다낭 U 호텔

2015 E -CITY 하노이 푸디엔

 2019 G -CITY  호치민의 60층 하이야트 호텔까지 주로 주상복합과 호텔설계를 진행하고 있습니다.
2012.2017 대형 프로젝을 진행할때마다 BCI Asia Awards - Vietnam Top 10 Architect 선정되는 영광을 얻었습니다.
BCI Asia Awards - Vietnam Top 10 Architect

베트남에서 자랑스러운점

2007년 처음 베트남에 입성하게 된 동기는 지인을 통해 알게된 현지 부동산 개발회사의 공동 투자를 목적으로 한 것 이였습니다.
하지만 서로의 풍습과 의사소통의 문제로 결국 사업은 2번의 만남만에 결렬되고 말았지요, 처음이라 별로 기대를 하지 않았지만 멀리 타국까지 와서 단순간에 거절당하고 외면 당하는 현실이 싫었습니다.
그때 갑자기 특유의 승부근성이 발휘되더라고요, 회의를 마치지도 않았는데 저는 벌떡 일어나 “나는 한국의 건축사이며 베트남에서 주택부분의 설계를 하고 싶다”고 애기했습니다.
그때 지금은 파트너인 건축주가 내눈을 보더니 지도 한장을 던져주더군요.
자기들은 이미 프랑스, 독일 등 여러 업체들과 일을 하고있다며 한국의 전문가 솜씨를 한번 보자더군요, 아마도 한국에서 오심 손님들을 그냥 돌려보내기 민망 했던 모양입니다.
하지만 시간의 2주!! 이미 싱가폴, 프랑스, 베트남등 여러 업체들이 선정되어 설계 기획에 참가 하고 있었습니다. 더 더욱 오기가 생겨 당당히 도면 한장을 들고 돌아오는 비행기에 올라탔습니다.
그때부터 머리속에 온갖 아이디어를 자아내어 스케치 하기 시작했고, 한국에 도착하자 직원들과 혼연일체가 되어 밤낮을 잊어가며 하나의 작은 도시를 만들어 갔습니다.

2007 하노이 반케 U- City

마침내  U SILK CITY 건축계획안의 윤곽이 나타납니다.
보고서는 2주안에 미쳐 마무리를 짖지 못해 베트남으로  비행기를 타고가는 시간까지도 작업을 하여, 비행기 안에서 우리가 계획한 도시의 이름에 걸맞는 로고 초안을 디자인 하게 되는데  

     미래를 상징하는 주황색, 그리고 50층 두개 타워를 상징하는 알파벳 U !!
     이것이 바로  베트남 모 부동산 개발 그룹이 지금 사용하고 있는 심벌이자 나의 첫 베트남 프로젝트가 되었습니다



베트남에서 힘들었던점은?

저는 베트남에 입성하자마자 계약을 하고 사업을 전개하는 경우라서 너무도 운이 좋았다 할수 있습니다
초반부터 고전하다 한국으로 돌아가는 사람들도 많았으니까요
하지만 너무도 운이 좋았나 봅니다. 마냥 잘 될것만 같은 일들을 주체하지 못한 나는 곧 바로 추락하여 곤두박칠 치게 됩니다
게다가 갑자기 터진 미국발 써브프라임사태는 한국은 물론 베트남에까지 영향을끼쳐 모든 사업이 지연되거나 중단되어 버렸습니다.
한국과 베트남 회사 모두 살려보고자 이리저리 뛰어다녔지만 힘 만들고 풀리는 일은 없이 오히려 회사 내부에 많은 문제가 생겼습니다.

게다가 설상가상 베트남을 미쳐 알지도 못한 상태에서 투자한 호치민 사업까지  어려워지게 되어 그야말로 정신없는 고난의 시간이였습니다.
겸손하지 못하고 오만 방자한 나에게 하늘에서 내리는 벌이라고 할까요

그래도 곁에서 지켜준 여러 지인들과 직원 여러분에게 감사할 따름입니다.
지금은 그들과 함께  이렇게 제2의 도약을 꿈꾸고 있으니까요



앞으로 하고 싶은 일?

그동안 베트남에서 뿌리를 내리고 사업이 안정화 되기까지 많은 시행착오와 소위 말하는 수업료를 톡톡히 냈습니다.
특히나 한국 중소기업들이 무작정 들어와서 사업에 실패하는 것을 보면서 동변상련을 느끼곤 하였습니다.

저희 ADD건설group은 매출의 90%를  베트남 현지인들과 주거래를 이어가며 어떻게 상생 할 수 있는지 배우게 되었습니다.

특히 요즘은 최초 창업자들이 젊을을 무기로 베트남으로 도전하는데  누군가 조금만 도와 준다면 우리보다 빨리 자리를 잡아가지 않을까 생각해 봅니다.

제 아무리 베트남을 안다고 한들 우리 개개인은  빙산의 일각입니다. 자신이 아는 것을 공유하고 협업하는것이 불안정한 시장에서  살아가는 방법입니다.


(공유 오피스 임대문의 093-456-8700)
최소한 내가 알고있는 건설 투자 분야에서만이라도 그동안의 경험과 정보를 바탕으로  한국의 자본과 기술을 베트남에 안착시키는 역할을 하고 싶습니다.
최근에 베트남 부동산 그룹과 공유 오피스를 만들어 공동 운영하고 있습니다.
이제 작은 우리의 그릇이 만들어 졌습니다. 장소는 작아도 앞으로 담을 꿈은 원대합니다.

앞으로도 지속적인 관심과 도움 부탁드리겠습니다.

2019/05/04

A Look Back at Insulation Products of the 20th Century

The BTHL chronicles material advances for structural insulating products through the 1900s.


Courtesy BTHL
This post is part of a monthly series that explores the historical applications of building materials and systems through resources from the Building Technology Heritage Library (BTHL), an online collection of AEC catalogs, brochures, trade publications, and more. The BTHL is a project of the Association for Preservation Technology, an international building preservation organization.
Insulation is critical to the energy efficiency of a building envelope. The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED v4 building certification program, for example, awards up to two points to energy conservation from insulation that minimizes heat transfer and thermal bridging. However, insulation as we know it today is a relatively recent technology. While civilizations as early as the Ancient Greeks reportedly utilized asbestos, it was not until the 20th century that major advancements were made in insulative materials.
In the 1900s, the design and construction of buildings with a thermal envelope to improve human comfort, as well as to reduce energy costs, spurred the production of insulating materials. The use of cavity wall construction for housing across the country led to the development of materials from mineral sources that could be installed as loose fill, blankets, or sheathing panels. The use of natural fibers extracted from wood and sugar cane produced a number of different insulating sheathing boards. By midcentury, new industrial processes resulted in lightweight glass fibers and mineral aggregates that combined thermal resistance with fire- and rot-resistance. Later still, the combination of insulating materials with vapor resistant materials led to composite systems.
Here, ARCHITECT takes a look back at the available insulation technology of the 20th century.
Patent Mineral Wool, A.D. Elbers, New York, 1880
Some of the earliest commercial insulation were made of mineral wool, a fibrous material spun from molten mineral or rock components such as slag. Mineral wool could be used to insulate piping and heating systems, as well as in general structures.
H.W. Johns' Asbestos Steam Saving and Fire Proof Materials, H.W. Johns Co., New York, 1884
The H.W. Johns Co., established in 1858, became a large manufacturer of asbestos insulation, a material noted for its fire-resistance—and later reviled as a health hazard. This catalog promotes the use of insulation materials for boilers and heating systems.
Celotex Insulating Lumber, Celotex Co., Chicago, 1923
The Celotex Co. produced a variety of building products that it promoted for their insulating qualities and structural strength. The company claimed that its insulating lumber exterior sheathing material was superior to conventional lumber or masonry in reducing thermal transfer, and therefore reduced energy usage.
The Building Contractor’s Book on Armstrong’s Corkboard for a Heatproof Lining for Walls and Roof, Armstrong Cork & Insulation Co., Pittsburgh, 1926
Cork has long been recognized for its thermal insulating capacity and noise transfer reduction. The Armstrong Co. produced corkboards that could be used instead of lath for plaster walls.
Weatherwood Insulation Data Book for Architects, Chicago Mill and Lumber Corp., Chicago, 1931
Weatherwood was one of several competing versions of a structural insulating board made from wood or other natural materials. This publication bills itself as a comprehensive guide for architects offering climate and technical data on insulating materials.
Facts About Insulation, Silvercote Products Inc., Kalamazoo, Mich., 1936
This guide to insulation is an illustrated version of two technical publications from the American Society of Refrigeration Engineers. Early research on insulation revealed that insulation technology also needed to address moisture transfer and control.
The Book of Triple Insulated Homes, Johns-Manville Co., New York, 1937
The "triple insulated home" featured a variety of Johns-Manville products that had improved durability and fire resistance because they were made of asbestos. The wall cavities of this hypothetical house were filled with rock wool insulation while the roof and walls featured asbestos-cement shingles.
Fir-Tex Insulating Boards, Fir-Tex Insulating Board Co., Portland, Ore., 1945
Fir-Tex insulating boards could be used for sheathing but this catalog also features many options for decorative interior finishes.
Zonolite Brand Vermiculite: Insulation, Lightweight Aggregates, Acoustical Materials, Zonolite Co., Chicago, 1951
Vermiculite is a fire-resistant mica mineral that could be turned into a very lightweight loose-fill insulation for cavity walls or attics. Vermiculite could also be used as an aggregate in plaster or concrete. Unfortunately, these materials could also contain asbestos.
Reflective Insulation, Louis Hafers Co., Alhambra, Calif., 1961
This reflective insulation featuring aluminum foil attached to a "kraft paper" backing was promoted for its superior reduction of radiant heat, particularly in ceilings. 

2019/04/23

AIA and ACSA Announce the Winners of the 2018/2019 COTE Top 10 for Students Awards

Today, The American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) announced the winners of the fifth-annual AIA COTE Top 10 for Students awards. The design and ideas competition—which is open to upper-level undergraduate and graduate students at ASCA-member schools in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico—awards work completed in the course of study (either in a design studio or a related class) from January 2018 to the present. Projects were evaluated using the same 10 measures that are featured in the professional COTE Top Ten Awards, which are: integration, community, ecology, water, economy, energy, wellness, resources, change, and discovery.
Each winning project will receive a $500 a stipend to attend the AIA Conference on Architecture in Las Vegas this June, where the winning projects will be on display. Each winning student will also be offered a paid summer internship at a firm that specialize in sustainable design.
This year's jury was made up of Mary Demro of Montana State University; David Dowell, AIA, of El Dorado; Bradford Grant of Howard University; and Matthew Noblett, AIA, of Behnisch Architekten/Partners.

The 2018/2019 ACSA/AIA COTE Top 10 for Students Winners


Philip Riazzi; Cameron Foster
Acclimate
Students: Philip Riazzi and Cameron Foster
School: Clemson University
Professors: Ulrike Heine, David Franco, and Daniel Harding
Jury statement: "The Acclimate project establishes an urban identity strategy that successfully deals with metropolitan density. The repurposing of this parking garage demonstrates the value of reuse and finds a new solution for cultivating quality urban life. The slender towers are programmatically designed to enhance views and daylight in an elegant way, creating a vision for how sustainable architecture might appear in the future."



Cole Robinson and Michael Horan
Transfusion: Tapering Tucson
Students: Cole Robinson and Michael Horan
School: Clemson University
Professors: Ulrike Heine, David Franco, and Daniel Harding
Jury statement: "Transfusion innovatively tests new ideas around multi-occupant buildings and their adaptability. The ideas presented in this project take a holistic design approach, integrating energy generated sustainable strategies alongside community focused initiatives."



Sean Anderson; Tobias Jimenez; and Haley Landenburg
Wallingford W2E
Students: Sean Anderson, Tobias Jimenez, and Haley Landenburg
School: Washington State University
Professors: Omar Al-Hassawi
Jury statement: "The Wallingford W2E project does a terrific job of imagining architecture as infrastructure, an idea of great potential in moving towards a more sustainable future. This optimistic design is innovative on multiple scales including great consideration of human experience. In addition to tackling global issues of waste, this project is well-researched and incorporates details that make the building successful in its specific site."



Haley Teske
“The Happy Land” | An Antiquarium for Torre Annunziata
Students: Haley Teske
School: Montana State University
Professors: Bradford Watson and Jaya Mukhopadhyay
Jury statement: "Happy Land is a compelling urban design proposal that brings a different approach to viewing sustainable living within an existing, and historic, urban fabric. The design promotes public access to cultural heritage and fragile sites, while also acknowledging a dense streetscape and urban scale. Through its research of local economy and the impact of resourcing, the embedded ideas successfully demonstrate new methods of incorporating sustainable strategies in atypical project locations."



Viviani Isnata and Maria Ulloa
Shore of a Hundred Islands
Students: Viviani Isnata and Maria Ulloa
School: California College of the Arts (CCA)
Professors: Evan Jones
Jury statement: "Shore of a Hundred Islands presents an imaginative approach towards the growing issue of rising sea levels. It demonstrates a compelling intersection of traditional form and modern function while also giving careful consideration to aquatic ecology. Within strict programmatic and environmental constraints, the design provides solutions to cultivating both community and privacy."



Thomas Valcourt; Karl Greschner; and Phillippe Bernard
Dyads
Students: Thomas Valcourt, Karl Greschner, and Phillippe Bernard
School: Université Laval
Professors: Claude Demers and André Potvin
Jury statement: "Dyads is an illustrative example of successful architectural tectonics, particularly micro-climate and envelope design. Given its programmatic and environmental parameters, the design is a successful reflection of combining known sustainable strategies in order to create a symbiotic building system in tune with its site."



Will Letchinger and Jonathan Wilkinson
Après le Déluge
Students: Will Letchinger and Jonathan Wilkinson
School: Rice University
Professors: John Casbarian
Jury statement: "With an overarching goal of addressing resiliency at a historic preservation site, Après le Déluge is an elegant solution to a multivalence of problems. This project combines an unusual mixture of programs with a need for elevating infrastructure and does so in a way where each initiative is supported by the other. Although this project could seek further development, it is a beautiful solution to a complex issue."



Peter Lazovskis and Thomas Schaperkotter
Coolth Capitalism
Students: Peter Lazovskis and Thomas Schaperkotter
School: Harvard University Graduate School of Design
Faculty University: University of British Columbia
Professors: Matthew Soules
Jury statement: "Coolth Capitalism addresses sustainability through a uniquely economic lens and is a fantastic example of ambiguity in architecture. This quasi-dystopian design explores the idea of how slender towers may evolve over time based on real estate and resource availability. Thoughtful research about carbon sequestering, water usage, and energy consumption prompt consideration of new approaches to sustainability in dense urban environments."



Cynthia Suarez-Harris; Ledell Thomas; and Kennia Lopez
The Fly Flat
Students: Cynthia Suarez-Harris, Ledell Thomas, and Kennia Lopez
School: Prairie View A&M University
Faculty: Shelly Pottorf, Shannon Bryant, and April Ward
Jury statement: "The Fly Flat is a hopeful project which transforms modular design into art. The impeccable renderings explore vernacular housing in an innovative way while creating affordable and sustainable residential design. This proposal demonstrates thorough research and discovery of new concepts in working towards meeting its primary goal of how to address climate change in low-income communities."



Catherine Earley; Elena Koepp; and Sabrina Ortiz
Healing Habitats
Students: Catherine Earley, Elena Koepp, and Sabrina Ortiz
School: University of Oregon
Faculty: Brook Muller
Jury statement: "Healing Habitats proposes a method of wellness where architecture directly engages public health. The design is a great example of how low-tech architecture plays a significant role in sustainability. Comprehensive research in this design incorporates current needs facing the site, such as community and ecology, as well as projective concerns of flooding, drought, water and wastewater."

2019/04/19

Victor Hugo Was Wrong


The author of The Hunchback of Notre Dame believed that the book killed the building as a repository of human thought.



Rudiuk
There’s a particularly strange chapter in Victor Hugo’s strange and wonderful novel, Notre-Dame de Paris (Charles Gosselin Libraire, 1831), titled “This Will Kill That.” In it, the author digresses from the Gothic tale of a gypsy girl and the hunchback who loves her to expound a pet cultural theory: “Le livre tuera l’édifice.” “The book will kill the building.” That simple sentence—subject, verb, object—defines an epochal moment, when the book usurped architecture as humanity’s chief mode of expression. (Hugo put those words in the mouth of a medieval character, the cathedral’s archdeacon, which explains the use of the future tense to refer to an event that occurred in the 15th century.)
“The invention of the printing press is the greatest event in history,” Hugo wrote, and he’s right. (Or, at least, he was right, until the internet came along.) But Hugo is also wrong: The printing press may have taken architecture’s place as the medium of choice, but it didn’t kill architecture, or even mute it. For proof, look no further than the great outpouring of sorrow when Notre Dame was ravaged by fire on April 15. Clearly, that 800-year-old church embodies the spirit of a city, and a nation.
Hugo’s dead-architecture thesis depends on the supposition that buildings are inherently static and singular, whereas books, to their advantage, are transient and numerous: “One can demolish a mass; how can one extirpate ubiquity?” While a building as old as Notre Dame is undeniably singular, it isn’t static. After a century or so, buildings achieve a kind of slow, viscous fluidity, changing on a seemingly geological time scale. Over the course of eight centuries, the cathedral has been expanded, altered, ornamented, pillaged, adapted, restored, and renovated into a physical history of France, written in stone, lead, timber, and glass.
The church that just burned was as much a monument of the 19th-century Gothic Revival, courtesy of enthusiastic restoration architect Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, as it was a relic of the 12th-century Gothic. And given the slow pace of medieval construction, one cannot even pin the original to a single phase. A succession of anonymous master builders deployed Early, High, Rayonnant, Flamboyant, and Late iterations of the style.

Memorial service for King Philip V of Spain at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, by Charles-Nicolas Cochin the Younger (1746).
Institut national d’histoire de l’artMemorial service for King Philip V of Spain at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, by Charles-Nicolas Cochin the Younger (1746).
And in-between those Gothic bookends, Louis XIV had Robert de Cotte give the choir a Neoclassical face lift (which Viollet-le-Duc indignantly removed); revolutionaries sacked the place and used it for atheistic pageants; and monarchs from the houses of Bourbon, Bonaparte, and Orléans as well as officials of the various republics staged weddings, coronations, and funerals there—each necessitating elaborate, though not always permanent, reinventions.
French President Emmanuel Macron promises the restoration of Notre Dame Cathedral will be complete in five years, and French billionaires and megacorporations have already pledged more than $700 million toward that goal. Will Notre Dame Cathedral be the same as it was before the fire? No, that is beyond the capacity of the most meticulous preservation efforts. But Notre Dame Cathedral can be as meaningful as it was before the fire. While tragic, the fire creates an opportunity to write a new chapter in the history of the cathedral, the city, and the nation. That story will be written in architecture.