From a dilapidated area of slaughterhouses and factories along Manhattan’s East River arose the svelte, iconic form of the United Nations Headquarters. In 1947, a team of ten design consultants from around the world, led by Wallace K. Harrison, was selected to design a permanent home for the United Nations. Since its completion three years later, the 39-story, 550-foot tall Secretariat Building has become a symbol of world politics, peacekeeping, and international cooperation. At the main public entrance to the headquarters, the concave, sloping General Assembly Building hosts representatives of member states in its Assembly Hall. The complex also includes the Conference Building and Visitors Centre, as well as the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, a 1961 addition to the facility.
Hoffmann Architects has provided exterior envelope investigation, design, and consultation services both at the original United Nations buildings and at One and Two United Nations Plaza, office towers built in the 1970s, and at UNICEF House (Three United Nations Plaza). Beginning in 1986, Hoffmann Architects conducted several facade safety investigations pursuant to New York City Local Law 10 of 1980 (superseded by Local Law 11 of 1998) at the United Nations Plaza buildings. Our architects and engineers were retained to develop roof repair, replacement, and rehabilitation programs throughout the complex, including at the Secretariat Building, the General Assembly Building, and the Conference Building. Hoffmann Architects also provided consultation services for water infiltration at the roof of UNICEF House.
As an architectural monument, the United Nations Headquarters complex in New York is more than a physical manifestation of international unity. It is also the realization of a collaborative effort among leading architects of the day, and an early example of successful urban renewal. Hoffmann Architects is honored to have been selected to participate in maintaining the longevity and integrity of these important structures.