United Nations Headquarters


New York, NY

View of the United Nations
UN Chamber
UN Chamber

Overlooking the East River, the United Nations Headquarters Complex was originally designed by an international team of architects under the direction of Wallace K. Harrison. After 60 years of service, the iconic UN Headquarters (UNHQ) required comprehensive renovations to meet the programmatic and technological needs of the delegates and staff of 193 member nations, as well as operations and security staff for the complex. The General Assembly and Conference Buildings regularly host world leaders, while iconic public spaces welcome millions of visitors each year.

Our team developed Preservation Guidelines and Design Standards for the entire UNHQ complex, including the iconic 38-story Secretariat tower and the 18 acres that constitute the campus. As an "international territory," the UNHQ is not required to comply with local historic preservation regulations. The design team, however, utilized the Secretary of the Interior's Standards as a template while also referencing internationally recognized standards. The resulting guidelines were used for the renovation project and establish the framework for an appropriate architectural language for necessary interventions, while also providing a comprehensive manual prescribing restoration protocols and methodologies.

Building Facts

  • 1.6 million GSF
  • 18-acre campus
  • 6 buildings

[We have] the overall impression that the refitting of the Trusteeship Council Chamber is in good hands with the design practice EYP, and that there is full appreciation of the chamber’s conservation values. [We were] positively surprised by the respect shown by the UN and EYP for this piece of Danish cultural heritage.

Blue Ribbon Design Panel Danish Government
Interior view of the UN Headquarters' lobby

Refreshing the UN's Public Spaces

EYP restored the original circulation pattern in the public lobby and hallways that welcome both diplomats and the public touring the building. Our design improves lighting, accessibility, and security in a sensitive, efficient, and economical fashion.

Rendering of a new delegates lounge at the UN Headquarters

Creating New Spaces Within A Historic Campus

EYP developed a design that rotated three large conference rooms 180-degrees, which provided adequate space to accommodate required security upgrades to the space without losing any meeting areas. In fact, it resulted in the creation of a new Delegates Lounge facing the East River in “found space.”

All EYP project team members are extremely passionate about the UN building from both an architectural standpoint and a complex problem solving point of view and it seems their skills and experience have found the perfect project.

United Nations Project Manager