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United Nations Secretariat Building

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United Nations Secretariat Building
UN Headquarters, U.N. Building


Structure in General

existing [completed]
curtain wall
light blue
international style


institutional office


  • Built for an important international organization, this modern complex helped revitalize New York City at the end of the second world war.
  • Centerpiece of the UN complex is the Secretariat, a skyscraper based on plans by Le Corbusier, one of the most well-known modern architects.
  • This skyscraper was the first major International Style building to be constructed in New York.
  • The architects' use of green glass, marble, and bands of metal detailing are modifications to the modern architectural vocabulary.
  • An extensive renovation is planned in the near future that could take up to ten years, temporarily displacing the employees to a new headquarters building to be built in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or Queens.
  • The actual design for the building was carried out by an international team of architects under the direction of Wallace Harrison.
  • Featured in the movie "The Pink Panther Strikes Again" (directed by Blake Edwards, 1976).
  • The 18-acre site was donated to the United Nations by John D. Rockefeller, Jr.
  • Typical of the International Style are its simple, geometric form, the absence of historical references, and its glass curtain wall.
  • The UN Headquarters site is officially international territory, not part of the United States - making New York the only state with a hole in it.

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More Information


405-419 East 42nd Street
United Nations Plaza
750-762 1st Avenue
1st Avenue to FDR Drive, 405 East 42nd to East 48th Streets
Turtle Bay
New York City
New York

Technical Data

505.01 ft
505.01 ft
505.01 ft
May 2010 - 2012

Involved Companies

Gaston Brunfaut

Arnstein Arneberg

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Features & Amenities

  • One of the city's famous buildings
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