A Dutch Renovation of the Delegates' Lounge at the United Nations

Designed primarily by Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, and constructed between 1950 and 1952, the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City is an iconic structure that has stood the test of time. But after 60 years of use, it is in need of a thorough renovation.

Donations were instrumental in securing the funding needed to have the headquarters built, and now the UN is continuing this tradition, asking member states to donate money for the renovation.

The Netherlands decided to “adopt” the Delegates’ Lounge, which is located next to the General Assembly Hall. The Lounge is a meeting place for world leaders and thousands of politicians, policymakers and diplomatic representatives of the 193 member states of the United Nations.

The renovated Delegates' Lounge at UN Headquarters in New York has now been officially opened. The room was recently remodeled and newly furnished by a Dutch design team assembled by designer Hella Jongerius. The renovation and furnishing of the Lounge was an excellent opportunity to spotlight Dutch design, architecture and arts in an international arena. At the same time, this project is a way for the Netherlands to demonstrate the value the government attaches to the United Nations and multilateral cooperation.

Openness and transparency are the distinguishing characteristics of the winning design. In addition to Ms Jongerius, the team consists of the architectural firm OMA, artist Gabriël Lester, graphic designer Irma Boom and theoretician Louise Schouwenberg. The design’s most significant architectural alteration was the removal of the mezzanine in order to restore the open character of the original space and enlarge the view of the East River.

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