Koolhaas Revamps UN Building’s Modernist-Era Lounge

Courtesy of Frank Oudeman

Dutch designers, Rem Koolhaas and Hella Jongerius, have revamped the delegates’ lounge in the United Nations building just in time for the 68th General Assembly this week. The “workshop of peace” lounge space, originally designed in 1952 by Wallace K. Harrison in collaboration with renowned modernists Le Corbusier and Oscar Neimeyer, now sports a range of pastel-colored sofas and lounge chairs, opting for minimal intervention in attempts to maximize the social space. Read more about the UN North Delegates lobby on Gizmodo.

Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island

The relationship between social dynamics and architecture has always been intimate.  It is a constant dialogue between social norms and politics, stylistic trends and aesthetic choices, individual preferences and the collective good.  The Modernist Period was a time when architecture took on the challenge of many social problems.  In all the arts –  architecture, design, music and film – the period was highly politicized and the choices often gave way to a utilitarian ideal that was a hybrid of efficiency, simplicity and comfort.  Jake Gorst’s new film Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island, supported by Design Onscreen, is a message of preservation that takes us through the history of the modernist housing boom that took place on Long Island, NY in the period between the Great Depression and the 1970s.

On August 14th, Cook+Fox Architects hosted a private film screening at their office on 641 Ave of the Americas, presenting the treasures along the island’s shore that have fallen between the cracks of history.  The film looks at works from , Wallace Harrison, Frank Lloyd Wright, , Philip Johnson, Charles Gwathmey, Barbara and Julian Neski and many others.

Follow us after the break to catch up on the history of the development of these houses on Long Island.

The Iconic U.N. Headquarters Makeover

© United Nations Photo

Planned for completion in 2014, the iconic United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ) is in the middle of a $1.876 billion refurbishment project, known as the Capital Master Plan, which seeks to update the aging building with a more safe, modern and sustainable work environment. Located on the 18-acre site that was donated by John D. Rockefeller in the 1950s, the UNHQ was designed by an international team of eleven architects who worked together in a post-World War II world to create an landmark building through collaboration rather than competition.

Continue reading for more details on the Capital Master Plan. 

AD Classics: United Nations / Wallace K. Harrison

© Photo

Two years after the largest international peacekeeping organization was founded, the United Nations began searching for the location of their world headquarters.  After numerous offers from cities around North America, the United Nations settled on a 17 acre plot of land on the banks of the East River in New York City after John D. Rockefeller donated the land.  With the effects of World War II still looming throughout the world, the United Nations decided to invited prominent architects from the founding nations to work in collaborative, peaceful manner rather than holding a competition.

In 1947, the UN commissioned to lead the international design team to create their new world headquarters to be a symbol of the bright, peaceful future ahead that did not dwell upon the past.

More on the United Nations after the break.