Friday, September 27, 2013

Redesign of UN North Delegates Lounge in NYC by Hella Jongerius

Our good friend and designer Hella Jongerius is working on a several interesting design projects. Recently she redesigned the Business Class for Dutch Airline KLM with  the aim to make you feel truly home during your flight. More about this and Hella Jongerius in our Endless No.02 which will be on news stands in November 2013.

But we would like to mention her most recent project, the redesign of the UN North Delegates lounge in NYC that officially opened earlier this week.

More than sixty years after the opening of the UN North Delegates’ Lounge, Hella Jongerius has redesigned the lounge in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas, Irma Boom, Gabriel Lester and Louise Schouwenberg.

Their aim was to create a space of both comfort and professional informality. The team carefully edited the history of the space, retaining some of the iconic Scandinavian designs and creating a new perspective on the works of art already on display. They removed the mezzanine that had blocked the view of the East River, restoring the open architectural space.

Jongerius designed two new pieces of furniture for the lounge: the Sphere Table and the UN Lounge Chair, produced by Vitra. For the East Facade Jongerius designed the Knots & Beads Curtain, with hand-knotted yarn and 30,000 porcelain beads made from Dutch clay by Royal Tichelaar Makkum. Jongerius was also responsible for revitalizing the colour palette, selecting the furniture and designing the cradle-to-cradle Grid Carpet.

The UN buildings in New York date from 1951, six years after the foundation of the UN. Referred to as ‘A Workshop for Peace’, the complex was designed by a team of architects including Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer and Wallace K. Harrison. In 2009, the UN launched a large-scale renovation project, which is now nearly complete. At the request of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hella Jongerius formed a team to redesign the lounge and bring it into a new era. The renovation and redesign of the lounge is a gift from the Netherlands to the UN.

The lounge was officially opened on September 25, 2013 by Queen Máxima of the Netherlands and the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Frans Timmermans, in the presence of Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Text by: Jongeriuslab 

Images: Frank Oudeman

The Sphere Table, designed by Hella Jongerius is available at Vitra



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