Much of the cathedral survived the blaze, but the spire, which was added in the 19th century, did not
Much of the cathedral survived the blaze, but the spire, which was added in the 19th century, did notLIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

The new spire on Notre Dame could be a “super-slender needle touching heaven’s clouds”, a minaret or a work of art composed entirely of light, according to some of Britain’s leading architects.

An international competition is to be held to find a replacement for the spire destroyed in the cathedral fire and British designers have been quick to respond with their ideas.

Although much of the 850-year-old cathedral survived the 15-hour blaze which started on Monday, the spire, which was added in the 19th century during a restoration, did not and collapsed at about 7pm.

Lord Foster of Thames Bank, Britain’s most famous architect, said that the competition was an “extraordinary opportunity” that would prove irresistible to anyone in the profession. He said submissions should…