A Belgian is redesigning the area surrounding the Notre-Dame de Paris


Belgian designer Bas Smets has won the call to redesign the area surrounding Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. His uncluttered project with a strong emphasis on ecology was approved unanimously!

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, a much-visited landmark in the French capital, is being rebuilt after a terrible fire in 2019. Large numbers of tradespeople have been working relentlessly to recreate the building identically. The site has to be open to the public by 2024, the year of the Paris Olympic Games. Only the area surrounding the cathedral, a space measuring four hectares, will be freely redeveloped to make it even more magnificent.

This wonderful privilege belongs to the landscape design office of Bas Smets. At the age of 47, this Brabant resident, originally from Tervuren, can boast solid international experience. A graduate in architecture and civil engineering from the KU Leuven, with two additional years at the University of Geneva, he has designed the public spaces of the Trinity Tower in La Défense, the Sunken Garden and The Mandrake Hotel in London, the Himara Waterfront (Albania) and various projects for the city of Manama (Bahrain).

Bas Smets has been handed the keys to an exceptional project after being selected almost unanimously by the French jury.  He is focusing on an ecological approach and intends to irrigate the square in front of Notre-Dame so that a feeling of natural coolness pervades during the summer. The new promenades created by the Belgian landscape designer will be sober in style and result in a greener site - no fewer than 131 additional trees will be planted and not a single existing tree will disappear!

So these alleys will be imbued with a hint of Belgium and will delight the 12 million visitors expected each year.