The complex’s most prominent feature is the sprawling garden. Three existing trees, representing the holy trinity, will be joined by a series of birch, spruce, maple, lime, and ash trees to create a tranquil green space that can be enjoyed by both the public and churchgoers. This will also be connected to a green roof on the cultural center via a series of cascading terraces. All of the water used to irrigate the garden will be harvested in cisterns.
In addition to creating continuity between the Church and Cultural Center, the swooping glass canopy diffuses sunlight. And a special glaze used on the Church’s golden domes lets in plenty of natural lighting.
Perhaps the most interesting component of the design is its self-washing roof. A thin veneer of water will circulate on the roof, where it will be heated by the sun. As it is directed to underground reservoirs, it will keep the buildings warm and reduce energy consumption. Photovoltaic panels may also be built.
Despite importing some of the limestone from Russia in keeping with Russian Orthodox tradition, the designers will also recycle materials from the existing facade. And, finally, digging will be limited to protect the nearby River Seine.