A team of Dutch designers and thinkers reconceived one of the most essential spaces in the United Nations headquarters in New York: the North Delegates Lounge. September 25th, Her Majesty Queen Máxima, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Minister of Foreign Affairs Frans Timmermans opened the renovated Lounge, which is a meeting place for world leaders and thousands of politicians, policymakers and diplomatic representatives of the 193 member states of the United Nations.
„For decades, this Lounge has been a place where diplomats, staff and friends can meet and talk,’’ Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. „When the six Main Committees are in session, the most popular spot in the UN is here, in what we like to call the “Seventh Committee”.
The interdisciplinary team, which features designer Hella Jongerius, architectual firm OMA, graphic designer Irma Boom, artist Gabriel Lester and theorist Louise Schouwenberg, has revamped the delegates’ lounge just in time for the 68th General Assembly this week. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was delighted with the result: „I am especially pleased that this room reflects the Dutch tradition. The Netherlands hosts many important United Nations bodies. The Hague is a home to international justice. Many of us travel there often. So, it is nice to be able to have a piece of the Netherlands here, just a few steps from the General Assembly.’’
The ‘workshop of peace’ lounge space was originally designed in 1952 by Wallace K. Harrison in collaboration with renowned modernists Le Corbusier and Oscar Neimeyer.