Four years following the tragic Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral fire, the extensive renovations have progressed to the surrounding neighborhood. The landscape architect of the LUMA park in Arles, Bas Smets, was selected to reimagine the public space around Notre-Dame, in collaboration with the offices GRAU, NGA and Ingerop, as part of the building’s monumental renewal.
FIAF welcomes Smets to discuss his vision for the new landscape, including a new plaza, extensive green spaces, a redesigned park along the Seine, and a dedicated visitor’s center. The conversation will also explore how the Notre-Dame project addresses and can inform environmental concerns, historical preservation, and neighborhood development.
Bas Smets has a background in landscape architecture, civil engineering and architecture.
He founded his firm in Brussels in 2007 and has since completed more than 50 projects in more than 12 countries with his team of 25 architects and landscape architects. These projects vary in scale from territorial visions to infrastructural landscapes, from large parks to private gardens, from city centers to film sets.
His realised projects include the Parc des Ateliers in Arles, the park of Thurn & Taxis in Brussels, the public space around the Trinity Tower in Paris La Défense, the Sunken Garden and Mandrake Hotel in London, and the Himara Waterfront in Albania. In 2022 he won the international competition for public space around the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.
Bas Smets received his master’s degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering from the University of Leuven and his master’s in Landscape from the University of Geneva. He has taught in various institutions, such as the Ecole d’Architecture la Cambre in Brussels, the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris and the Technische Universität in Graz.