This past week has been a whirlwind of openings at the United Nations in celebration of newly renovated chambers: the Secretariat, Economic Social Council, and today, the Trusteeship Council chamber. Each of these rooms, originally given to the UN by Norway, Sweden, and Denmark respectively, were also renovated by these countries — a gift that keeps on giving (very generously). Perhaps the highlight is the Trusteeship Council chamber (the General Assembly is still to come) with a renovation of architect's Finn Juhl's original 1952 horseshoe plan, colorful lighting boxes on the ceiling, and wood paneling that envelopes the room. The warmth and organic form that characterized the original room has been carefully reinstated and amplified with new delegates tables and Secretariat chairs by designers Kasper Salto and Thomas Sigsgaard. In addition, a reproduction (with slight modifications) of the original Finn Juhl FJ51 chair, curtain, and carpet complete this beautiful gesamtkunstwerk.
H.R.H. the Crown Princess of Denmark inaugurated the chamber with H.E. Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon. Following speeches, a film about the renovation and design process, there was a panel moderated by Paul Hodengraber of Live NYPL, with myself, Danisharchitectural history professor Carsten Thau, the designers Salto and Sigsgaard, and Michael Adlerstein, the man behind the capital master plan of the UN. My takeaway was how Finn Juhl characterized the UN as a "rectangular house". And he proceeded to design the Trusteeship Council Chamber like any good Danish domestic interior with simplicity, quality, and truth to purpose and materials.
Waiting for the princess….
H.R.H. the Crown Princess of Denmark and H.E. Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moom
Notice the beautiful Finn Juhl designed carpet. Salto & Sigsgaard Secretariat chairs to the left.