Notre-Dame De Paris Restoration Aided By Autodesk

Published: Mon 17 Apr 2023 11:57 AM
AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND – April 17, 2023 – Autodesk has revealed how it has helped in the reconstruction of the Notre-Dame de Paris, donating its software, 3D model and technical expertise to support the mammoth project following the 2019 fire.
Four years ago, a thick cloud of smoke filled the Parisian sky. Notre-Dame de Paris, one of the world’s most iconic cathedrals, was burning. Eight centuries of French history went up in flames as Paris’s beloved cathedral was scarred by the fire. About five hundred firefighters battled the blaze for hours, as Parisians watched the tragedy unfold before their eyes.
“Soon after the fire, our CEO Andrew Anagnost recognised that a cash donation was not enough, and that Autodesk needed to play an integral role in saving the historic structure,” said, Nicolas Mangon, Vice President of AEC Design Strategy at Autodesk. “As a French native who spent six years studying less than two blocks from the cathedral, I was eager to get involved. Two weeks following the fire, I went to Paris to assess the damage and identify opportunities for Autodesk to support the reconstruction. “Visiting the cathedral that day was surreal – it was shocking and emotional to see the damage so up close after I’d spent years passing by as a student.”
Autodesk shared its expertise and Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology to support the project. To start, Autodesk recruited reality-capture and digital-reconstruction firm AGP to create an incredibly detailed 3D digital model of the cathedral as it existed before the catastrophic event. The project combined Autodesk software and AGP’s data from earlier scans of Notre-Dame.
AGP leveraged its previous work with new laser scanning, photogrammetry, and drone footage after the fire to capture a complete view of the cathedral. Because of the complexity, structural details, and sheer size of Notre-Dame, it took Autodesk and AGP over a year to create the full-scale model. It is an unrivaled example of historical modeling using BIM technology.
Once finished, Autodesk donated the BIM model and its software to the public institution dedicated to the conservation and restoration of the cathedral – Établissement public Rebâtir Notre-Dame de Paris – to be used by the teams involved in the project. Through an official patronage, Autodesk is contributing design and construction solutions, including BIM, and technical expertise to enhance collaboration, clarity, and efficiency across the teams working on the reconstruction effort.
The president of the public institution Rebâtir Notre-Dame de Paris, Army General Jean-Louis Georgelin, said, “using digital technologies designed for the supervision and management of the restoration site is essential for the public institution. Thanks to Autodesk’s patronage, the use of cutting-edge design and construction technologies and BIM are being leveraged to help prepare for the reopening of the cathedral, and to once again welcome both pilgrims and visitors.”
One of the major stakeholders in the project is SETEC opency, the company managing the planning and construction of the site. Leveraging the 3D model created with Autodesk’s BIM solutions, SETEC opency was able to quickly understand the constraints of the site.
“Having the 3D building information model significantly increased the accuracy and speed of the process, two necessary elements to reopen by the end of 2024. Autodesk’s technology has been crucial to the work we are doing to rebuild the spire, along with integrating new technical safety and comfort elements,” said Yvan Rouard, Director of the Building Division at SETEC opency.
Mangon added, “The restoration is not complete yet, and Autodesk will keep providing support to reopen the cathedral in 2024. Bringing together Autodesk employees from different teams and countries, this project shows how the use of BIM creates a historical digital record for increased resiliency for future events and restoration projects.
“Ultimately, this is exactly the type of project that our software is designed to support in a quick and efficient way. I am incredibly proud to provide our technical expertise, combined with traditional design and modern workflow solutions, to help Notre-Dame stand once more.”About Autodesk
Autodesk is changing how the world is designed and made. Our technology spans architecture, engineering, construction, product design, manufacturing, media and entertainment, empowering innovators everywhere to solve challenges big and small. From greener buildings to smarter products to more mesmerizing blockbusters, Autodesk software helps our customers to design and make a better world for all. For more information visit or follow @autodesk.

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