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The Auditorium of the UNESCO headquarters in Paris impresses with generous dimensions.
The Auditorium of the UNESCO headquarters in Paris impresses with generous dimensions.
© UNESCO
The Auditorium of the UNESCO headquarters in Paris impresses with generous dimensions.

The chair of nations

It is not only the architecture of the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris that is iconic, but also its interior. Pride of place there goes to Eero Saarinen’s “Conference Chair”, which is now set to furnish the building in a new version.
by Anna Moldenhauer | 10/6/2017

The UNESCO Headquarters in Paris is an icon of architecture, and was developed in 1958 as a joint project: Marcel Breuer, Pier Luigi Nervi, Antonio Nervi and Bernard Zehrfuss were all involved, consulting in the process with an architecture committee chaired by Walter Gropius.

The choice for the seating for the huge auditorium fell back then on the “Conference Chair”, the brainchild of industrial designer and architect Eero Saarinen, who created the chair for Knoll International. The soft shape of the upholstered chair is no coincidence, since the design is ultimately based on the “Organic Chair” that Eero Saarinen had designed previously in cooperation with Ray Eames for the 1941 competition “Organic Design in Home Furnishings” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. The decision once again to incorporate the timeless classic into the auditorium of the UNESCO Headquarters after the historic building’s modernization was not a difficult one: 800 individual chairs were produced with a base frame developed specially for the project and the material and colors adapted to the impressive auditorium.

The futuristic, Y-shaped structured building, was created in 1958 in the sense of the formula "Form follows function".
The futuristic, Y-shaped structured building, was created in 1958 in the sense of the formula "Form follows function".
© UNESCO
The futuristic, Y-shaped structured building, was created in 1958 in the sense of the formula "Form follows function".
Now and then the first choice for the auditorium is the "Conference Chair" by industrial designer and architect Eero Saarinen for Knoll International.
Now and then the first choice for the auditorium is the "Conference Chair" by industrial designer and architect Eero Saarinen for Knoll International.
© UNESCO
Now and then the first choice for the auditorium is the "Conference Chair" by industrial designer and architect Eero Saarinen for Knoll International.
Le Corbusier belonged to the Advisory Committee of Architects, who advise the creators of the UNESCO headquarter in Paris.
Le Corbusier belonged to the Advisory Committee of Architects, who advise the creators of the UNESCO headquarter in Paris.
© UNESCO
Le Corbusier belonged to the Advisory Committee of Architects, who advise the creators of the UNESCO headquarter in Paris.
Walter Gropius (r.), who headed the consultative architecturium, talking to his colleagues.
Walter Gropius (r.), who headed the consultative architecturium, talking to his colleagues Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer and Sven Markelius.
© UNESCO
Walter Gropius (r.), who headed the consultative architecturium, talking to his colleagues Le Corbusier, Marcel Breuer and Sven Markelius.
Für den besonderen Einsatz in der UNESCO-Zentrale wurde der "Conference Chair" eigens mit einem neuen Untergestell angefertigt.
Für den besonderen Einsatz in der UNESCO-Zentrale wurde der "Conference Chair" eigens mit einem neuen Untergestell angefertigt.
© UNESCO
Für den besonderen Einsatz in der UNESCO-Zentrale wurde der "Conference Chair" eigens mit einem neuen Untergestell angefertigt.

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