Username Password  
  Forgot your password?  
ItalianoEnglish
 
  COME VEDERE L'ARCHITETTURA CONTEMPORANEA HOW TO SEE CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
COME VEDERE L'ARCHITETTURA CONTEMPORANEA HOW TO SEE CONTEMPORARY ARCHITECTURE
HOME
ARCHITECT | LOCATION | TYPOLOGY | EXHIBITIONS | ADVANCED SEARCH

BUILDING
 
 
The Council Chambers in the UN Building
Top
DESIGNER
 
 
Arnstein Arneberg

Top
DESCRIPTION
 
Wallace K. Harrison ONU United Nations Headquarters New York"Arneberg chose to give the chamber a unitary appearance by making the two zones, the delegates’ and the spectators’ sections (“stage and auditorium”) differ from each other as little as possible in a purely visual sense. The design of the ceiling and the ceiling lighting are the same in both sections of the chamber. In both sections, too, the longitudinal walls are covered with the same wall fabric, blue damask with motifs — corn, hearts and anchors — in yellow. The rear wall behind the public gallery is clad with straw wall covering. Although the Chamber is conceived as a single unit, there is a very striking panel wall between the section for the public and the press and the delegates’ seating. This panel wall is of marble. The same material was also used in the lower part of the walls. The white ceiling covering the entire chamber is fitted with spotlights and with indirect lighting (“streamline”) in the transition between ceding and wall. The carpet is grey. The delegates’ and secretaries’ chairs, 44 in all, are covered with a blue woollen fabric. The chairs were designed by Arneberg’s young assistant, Finn Nilsson, and made in Norway by the master cabinetmaker Johan Fr. Monrad. The materials are elm and mahogany. The wooden doors, of pale ash, are decorated with intarsia patterns in pewter and fitted with large, square wooden handles.

When it came to the problem of the light from the back, Arneberg’s solution was radical in relation to the other architects: He has blocked out the window towards the river and thereby shut out the daylight and the view. The large painting by Per Krohg has found its place on this latitudinal east wall. The embrasures between the painting and the side wall are covered by thick curtains of the same material as the wall coverings. Per Krohg’s painting dominates the chamber completely. It is easy to agree with the journalist in Interiors, who described this work as “the most unique feature of the room”. The painting, on canvas, is some five by nine metres. The lower part, roughly a quarter of the surface, is dark and sombre, representing a dungeon, dragons’ lairs and other fantastic features, soldiers and war machines. Human beings are climbing and twisting and trying to liberate themselves from bonds and chains. Many of them stand silhouetted against the upper, lighter part of the painting. This area is divided into seven separate panels against a pale background. The effect is almost that of a polyp-tych, an open altarpiece with many panels. The panels are organised symmetrically with three on either side of an amygdaloid central section. Beneath this, right at the centre of the painting, a phoenix is rising from a world laid in ashes. In the amygdaloid central section there is a man and a woman kneeling to each other and holding flowers in their hands, surrounded by children bearing flowers and wreaths. In the other panels there are people opening windows and doors to the light and the sun. They are singing and dancing or engaged on building and creative work. In brief, the painting represents, in an extremely simple and unambiguous manner, the new, harmonious, bright world that has conquered the forces of evil."

Ingeborg Glambek, "The Council Chambers in the UN Building in New York", Scandinavian Journal of Design History, vol. 15, 2005,  pp. 25-26
Top
MATERIALS
 
marble

Il marmo della cornice che domina la parete est della Camera del Consiglio di Sicurezza è marmo Calacatta Vagli, proveniente dall'Italia.
Arnstein Arneberg The Council Chambers in the UN Building New York

Top
BUSINESS ENTERPRISES
 
Finishes
Cooperativa Apuana Marmi Vagli
Top
LOCATION
 
Continent
North America
Nation
United States
State
New York
Metropolitan area
New York City
County
New York
Town
New York - Manhattan
Extraterritorial area
International Territory
Address
United Nations Plaza (First Avenue, East 42nd Street, East 48th Street, East River)
 
 
Website
Top
MAP
 
 
Top
TYPOLOGY
 
ARCHITECTURE
Public buildings
Government buildings
Operations on existing buildings
Interior design
Top
CHRONOLOGY
 
Project
1950    
Realisation
1951 - 1952
Top
BIBILIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
 
 
Ingeborg Glambek, "The Council Chambers in the UN Building in New York", Scandinavian Journal of Design History 15, 2005, pp. 8-39
Top
CLIENT
 
 
United Nations
Kingdom of Norway
Top
DIMENSIONAL
DATA
 
Dimensions
floor space m. 48 x 29
Capacity
120 seats for the press
400 seats for the general public
Top
ANNOTATIONS
 
 
First meeting held: April 4th 1952
Official inauguration: August 22nd 1952


Dossiers on UN Headquarters
Top
CREDITS
 
 
Photos © Martin-Fossum
Photos © Eskinder Debebe
Courtesy by Kingdon of Norway | UN

Wallace K. Harrison ONU United Nations Headquarters Security Council Chamber New York

If you haven't already clicked on the photo strip at the top of the page, for the gallery of photos [4 images]
 
 
Contacts    Copyright © 2004 - 2017 MONOSTUDIO | ARCHITECTOUR.NET
 
| Disclaimer | Conditions of use | Credits |