A Workshop for Peace: Designing the United Nations Headquarters

George Dudley, Author MIT Press (MA) $80 (429p) ISBN 978-0-262-04137-9
The design for the United Nations headquarters, a landmark of modern architecture, was thrashed out in 1947 in 45 meetings of an international panel of architects including the Swiss Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer of Brazil, the American Max Abramovitz and Ssu-Ch'eng Liang of China. Dudley, an architect and planner, kept an official record of the meetings and this profusely illustrated, diary-like chronicle, based on his notes, affords an illuminating case study of the process of creative design. Le Corbusier, who attempted to dominate the design team, subsequently claimed that the central idea for the U.N. project was his alone, but according to Dudley, Le Corbusier's preliminary concept, conceived during the site-selection process, proved not wholly suited to the tight urban space finally selected on Manhattan's East River. The final design, Dudley stresses, grew out of a truly cooperative effort. Illustrated. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
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