With the aim to create a space that combines comfort and professional informality, Hella Jongerius and a team of top designers, inluding Rem Koolhaas, Irma Boom and Gabriel Lester, redesigned the United Nations North Delegates' Lounge at the organisation's headquarters in New York.
Transporting the space into a new era, some 60 years after its official opening, the designers were careful to preserve the history, tradition and heritage of the lounge in the redesign. Some of the iconic Scandinavian designs and art on display were rearranged to allow them to be enjoyed from a fresh perspective. A mezzanine that had been blocking the view of the East River was removed, allowing for more open space and a better view.
Jongerius designed two new pieces of furniture for the lounge: the Sphere Table and the UN Lounge Chair, both produced by furniture brand Vitra. For the East Façade, she designed the Knots and Beads Curtain, with hand-knotted yarn and 30 000 porcelain beads. Jongerius was also responsible for revitalising the colour palette, selecting the furniture and designing the Grid Carpet.
The lounge redesign is part of a large-scale renovation project that the UN launched in 2009. The redesign of this particular lounge is a gift from the Netherlands to the UN. At the request of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Jongerius formed a team to redesign the lounge.
The lounge will officially open on 25 September 2013.