UPDATING THE UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS BUILDING, NYC
Simultaneous forms of unity and dis-unity
Following on the footsteps of the work that was done over the last two years as part of the parametric agenda, the studio this year will focus on the Redesigning of the United Nations headquarters in New York City.
The project was first conceived as a collaborative effort among a multinational team of leading architects and the designs were evaluated with the eventual selection derived out of the designs of Niemeyer and Corbusier.
A lot of changes have come to the discipline of Architecture since then and the world at large. While the modernist ideals are still appreciated and followed by the architectural world at large, one can sense that they have been transformed.
The work of philosophers such as Derrida and Deleuze-Guattari have given rise to a more complex set of values that have been explored since the 1990’s and the work of the deconstructivists and others. Today, the www and the networked economies of information exchange pose a serious challenge to the modernist manifesto.
The parametric way of working and the readily implementable algorithmic functions offer a new way of understanding architecture and space itself. A more elastic and malleable materiality is at hand with novel CAD/CAM technologies, 3d printing and state of the art computing.
How can architects today engage with projects such as the United Nations headquarters? How would one design the building, the Organization and the representation of the world’s states?