The Iconic U.N. Headquarters Makeover

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 Manhattan 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. 

The international design team was lead by architect Wallace K. Harrison. Completed in 1952, the collaborative design is a mixture between Oscar Niemeyer’s 39 story. International Style tower and Le Corbusier’s oblique general assembly building that were the two most popular schemes selected in the schematic phase of design. Find the complete UNHQ story here on ArchDaily.

As the appearance of the landmark will be preserved, the office spaces of the buildings will be modernized. The once closed, hierarchically defined spaces will now consist of more flexible, open spaces with more common team areas that foster collaboration.

Aging and inefficient equipment will be replaced, bringing the complex up to the same safety standards as other buildings in New York and preventing future deterioration. This includes improving the environmental performance of the building through the use of new technologies to reduce energy consumption, greenhouse gas emissions and water consumption. Energy consumption will be reduced by over 50 per cent. Additionally, the buildings carbon footprint will be reduced by over 45 per cent, meaning that carbon emissions would be cut by 23,000 tons per year and fresh water consumption would be reduced by over 40 per cent.

Further enhancements address indoor environmental quality, the use of sustainable materials and incorporating appropriate waste management.

A new high performance double-glazed curtain wall will be installed, along with new insulation and energy conserving measures on roofs and exterior walls.

The roofs will be covered in photovoltaic’s and new technology demonstrations are still be considered, such as grey water re-use, wind turbine, anaerobic waste management demonstration and active chilled beams,

Find more information about the Capital Master Plan here.

About this author
Cite: Karissa Rosenfield. "The Iconic U.N. Headquarters Makeover" 09 Mar 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

You've started following your first account!

Did you know?

You'll now receive updates based on what you follow! Personalize your stream and start following your favorite authors, offices and users.