United Nations Consolidation Building

In early 2003, the United Nations Development Corporation (a New York State public benefit corporation) in consultation with the United Nations and the City of New York embarked on an invitational competition amongst Pritzker Prize recipients, for the selection of an architect to design a high-rise building immediately south of the United Nations Headquarters complex in Manhattan, New York. The site on First Avenue between 41st and 42nd Street provides for 950,000 square feet of much needed expansion space for many diversified UN offices dispersed throughout the city to make for a consolidation project becoming the fifth building to complement the original 1945 ensemble comprised of the General Assembly, Secretariat, the conference building and the library. The competition scheme proposed by Maki and Associates was selected by the jury and hence, commission was awarded in late 2003.

The general program provides for office space, conference facilities and dining amenities in a 36-storey highrise building that matches the height of the Secretariat. The podium contains back of houses of various capacity as well as large rectangular office floor plates utilizing the footprint of the site to its maximum. The upper two-thirds of the tower contain unique floor plates taking cue from the slender office lease spans of the Secretariat and bending into a U-configuration in plan to create a symbolic light well. At the transition of the podium and tower section is a special floor locating the cafeteria and private dining rooms that encircle a landscaped sky garden that make reference to the park setting of the UN Complex as well as the East River.

The urban and formal statement made by the expansion project is a simple abstract “white” minimalistic tower that anchors the southern end of the UN complex while creating an iconic presence when seen from Midtown Manhattan via the 42nd Street corridor. The urban composition is that framing the United Nations identified by its green tinted glass with white and black in one striking presence from the East River.

Location: New York, United States
Completion Date: 2017
Building Type: Office
Number of Floors: 36 Stories
Site Area: 28,850 sf
Building Area: 25,670 sf
Total Floor Area: 900,000 sf
Structural Engineer: LESLIE E. ROBERTSON ASSOCIATES
■ Notes
Executive Architect:FXFOWL ARCHITECTS
MEP Engineer:WSP FLACK + KURTZ
■ Publication
Shinkenchiku : 2014.1
Fumihiko Maki(PHAIDON)
Shinkenchiku:2008.5 Special Issue [IN PROGRESS]
■ Awards / Competition
First Prize, invited competition (2003)