Analysis of the UN Headquarters Architecture Term Paper

Pages: 3 (1336 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  Level: College Sophomore  ·  Topic: Global Politics: World Affairs

SAMPLE EXCERPT:

[. . .] In fact, it is reasonable to suggest that when most people think of the United Nations, this is the building that comes to mind.

Nevertheless, the other constituent buildings in the UN headquarters complex are also architecturally noteworthy in their own respective ways. For example, although less visible from street level compared to the other major building elements, the dome that sits atop the UN’s General Assembly Building was the source of some controversy during the early stages of design but it makes a visually appealing addition to the exterior in general but the addition is especially attractive when viewed from above or the interior of the building. In fact, many observers would likely agree that the dome is yet another attractive design element that makes the UN headquarters an especially noteworthy architectural achievement that justifies the valuable land it occupies.

In addition, the clean lines and gently sloping roof of the General Assembly building draw the eye from one corner of the building to the other, with the dome in the middle to highlight the enormity of this part of the UN headquarters complex. From one point of view, the General Assembly building would appear incomplete without the dome since it serves to break up the otherwise nondescript roof notwithstanding its appealing but uninterrupted slope. Unfortunately, visitors who are standing too close to the General Assembly building are unable to see the dome at all, but it becomes clearly visible by simply walking across the street or viewing the complex from an adjoining skyscraper.

Beyond the foregoing, some of the other, more appealing aspects of the UN headquarters building design include the comparative dimensions and arrangements of four major buildings that comprise the complex. These rectilinear elements make these buildings seem to blend together seamlessly in ways that are reminiscent of the golden ratio, a design which make them especially attractive and appealable to human observers. Whether by intuition or intent, the buildings’ architects make good use of these elements in developing an comprehensive and poignant design.

These discrete design elements, combined with the metal and glass facings that are used for each building, make the UN headquarters building stand out as a particularly noteworthy and visually appealing architectural achievement. In fact, the signature 39-story tall main Secretariat Building appears to have been the inspiration for the motion picture “2001: A Space Odyssey” monolith’s 1 X 4 X 9 dimensions (the dimensions are the squares of the first three integers). The powerful visual appeal of these specific dimensions not only makes the Secretariat Building the most prominent feature of the headquarters complex, it also immediately draws observers’ views upwards where the reflections of the enormous structures in the surrounding metropolis are clearly visible in the building’s highly reflective glass surfaces. This can be a particularly humbling experience that further amplifies the importance and relevance of the UN headquarters for all visitors.

Finally, the block-long avenue of national flags that fronts the General Assembly building makes a striking and colorful addition to the overall UN headquarters complex design. Even on days when there is no wind, these flags serve as a vivid contrast to the pastel colors that define the headquarters’ main buildings. Further, the fact that all national flags are flown at the same level serves to further reinforce the equality between all of the UN’s member states that meet within its walls in an effort to peacefully resolve their differences.

Conclusion

Requiring just 3 years to complete and notwithstanding the countless heated debates that have taken place there, the UN Headquarters in Manhattan, New York has stood as a symbol of international peace and cooperation for nearly 70 years. The research showed that the UN headquarters complex consists of four main buildings (the Secretariat, the General Assembly, Conference Area and the Library). The research also showed that the building’s innovative rectilinear design has made the UN headquarters building a major tourist attraction as… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Analysis of the UN Headquarters Architecture.  (2018, February 8).  Retrieved January 19, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/analysis-un-headquarters-architecture/3296256

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" Analysis of the UN Headquarters Architecture."  8 February 2018.  Web.  19 January 2019. <https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/analysis-un-headquarters-architecture/3296256>.

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" Analysis of the UN Headquarters Architecture."  Essaytown.com.  February 8, 2018.  Accessed January 19, 2019.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/analysis-un-headquarters-architecture/3296256.