In 1989 the national Office of Historic Monuments and Sites and the city of Paris decided to renew the architectural lighting of the Notre-Dame Cathedral, which dated back to 1954. After two years of study and tests on site, the project of illumination was stopped in 1992 to restore the facades.
In 1999, the cleaned facades somehow exposed more glaring defects in the former, maladjusted and old technique lighting. The city of Paris then decided to relaunch the project and asked the winning lighting designers of the 1989 competition a complete redesign of the original project.
The updated lighting concept incorporates the color of the newly cleaned stone, its softness and luminosity. The new illumination softens the contrasts and adds a subtle lighting to the statuary.
It is performed with a single tone of warm white light and comes with a distant and diffuse lighting of the facades, and an accent lighting (positioned on the monument), made of highlights and illuminations, which underlines the portals, architectural details and the railings in stone.
It thus allows the spectators at night to read the composition of the West facade, its storied depth and the subtle development of its double stone skin.
The architectural lighting of the South, North and apse facades was implemented in the continuity of the western façade. The flying buttresses are up lighted in a mild way.
The Bell Tower and the Apostles at its base are gently illuminated to watch over the Parisian night sky.
in collaboration with Light Cible
City of Paris
Chief Architects of Historical Monuments: Benjamin Mouton
1989 / 1992
1999 / 2007