La nef

PARIS 1er 2020
Contracting Authority : NOVAXIA
Architect : Anne Démians
Architect historic monuments : Pierre-Antoine Gatier
Project Manager : Maïté Casas
Team : Alain Sabounjian, Georges Daou, Mathieu Rouveix, Ariane Merle d'Aubigné, Antoine Leriche
Perspective : Georges Daou
Facade : VP & Green
High Environmental Quality : OTEIS
Surface area : 700 m²
Cost : 1,8 M€ HT
La nef Hôtel-Dieu


It’s a passage, nothing but a passage on earth, but for her it’s an eternity.

Patient and silent, lanky, assuming with an elegant discretion its curves, the chapel of the Court Notre- Dame opens a new field of access to reflex prayer. Powdery and perfumed note, it leaves, behind her, the express and vaporous wake of these places built of stones and moisture, bathed in incense and holy water.

White and diaphanous, lying like the white Ophelia in an exquisite place (on the calm and black wave where the stars sleep, the white Ophelia floats like a big lily, very slowly, lying in her long sails / Arthur RIMBAUD), she makes to weigh, on the inner sky of the Hôtel -ieu, this new touch of translucency which makes it incredibly beautiful and conducive to the meditation tinted of the modern era.



A certain conception of poetic enthusiasm.

Because, less melancholy than romantic, it is surely of its time. Sweet and attentive, half-hearted to the pilgrim who came to take the pulse of her neighbor, the cathedral in pain, she unrolls her wooden floor at the site of the garden, then encouraging each of those who came for her (the Cathedral) to dispense piety, charity, forgiveness or hospitality.

Here, there is its large carcass built on the step of its large timber frame. An irregularly shifted succession of buttress arches whose tips resemble, but larger, the eye of a needle. And it is in the row of the chasers that a beam of top, of round section, slides which stiffens the arches and assembles a construction which is covered with a membrane made from a translucent material bearing the barbaric name of polypropylene.

The bases of a classic but living vocabulary are then drawn. It is the fragility of the envelope that only shocks. It paradoxically but spontaneously marks his time. An era of contemplation in which the lightness of spirits strangely joins the massiveness of bodies. Is there anything flippant about this? no, because to stop her gaze on her white-cloth look unfolded from the ridge to the ground, one might think that she would also be able to shelter anything other than prayer.

And if, lately, the press informed us that there was a tendency to clutter the forecourt of Notre-Dame with all the most extravagant hypotheses, we can see in it, the simple resolution of a simple question: how to welcome the pilgrims from all over the world without cluttering the sight of the most beautiful patient that the history of Christendom has left us?