hella jongerius + rem koolhaas: UN north delegates' lounge
sep 20, 2013
hella jongerius + rem koolhaas: UN north delegates' lounge


hella jongerius + rem koolhaas: UN north delegate’s lounge
image © frank oudeman

 

 

 

 

 

the united nations (UN) buildings in new york, date back to 1951, erected six years after the global organization was founded. often referred to as ‘a workshop for peace’, the complex was designed by a team of architects which included le corbusier, oscar niemeyer and wallack k. harrison.

 

in 2009, the UN launched a large-scale renovation project to renew its north delegates’ lounge. at the request of the dutch ministry of foreign affairs, hella jongerius, together with rem koolhaas, irma boom, gabriel lester and louise schouwenberg, have redesigned the space, bringing it into a new era. the renovation was a gift from the netherlands to the UN.

 

the team wanted to realize a space that encompassed both comfort and professional informality. in maintaining the historic characteristics of the space–retaining some of the original scandinavian designs and offering a new perspective on the works of art already on display. the biggest reconstruction of the original architecture was the removal of the mezzanine that was blocking the view of the east river.

 

 

 


the updated color palette offers a professional but comfortable space
image © frank oudeman

 

 

 

for the interior, jongerius designed two new pieces of furniture, the ‘sphere table’ (see designboom’s coverage of the work desk here) and the ‘UN lounge chair’ both produced by VITRA; as well as the ‘knots and beads’ curtain–a textile of hand-knotted yarn and 30,000 porcelain beads made from dutch clay by royal tichelaar makkum– suspended along the east facade. jongerius was also responsible for rejuvenating the color palette, and selecting the furniture and designing the cradle-to-cradle grid carpet.

 

the UN north delegates’ lounge officially opens on september 25th, 2013 by queen of máxima of the netherlands, and the dutch minister of foreign affairs, frans timmermans, in the presence of ban ki-moon, secretary-general of the UN.

 

 

 


hella jongerius’ ‘sphere table’ lines the back wall of the space
image © frank oudeman

 

 


image © frank oudeman

 

 

 


image © frank oudeman

 

 

 


arrangement of UN lounge chairs
image © frank oudeman

 

 


image © frank oudeman

 

 

 


sun filtering through the east is muted by a large ‘knots and beads’ curtain designed by jongerius
image © frank oudeman

 

 

 


images © frank oudeman

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