Thanks to the generous donation of the state of Qatar, Room XIX of the United Nations in Geneva has been completely renewed with the project of the PEIA architectural firm and, for the first time, an Italian architect designs and implements an important work for the United Nations.
The capacity of the new Hall is 800 seats, with 320 seats and desks for the delegates, plus a same number of assistants, as well as observers and the press, making this Hall for Assemblies of 4000 sqm. The architectural design reflects the ideals of the United Nations through its concentric and radial circular design that exemplifies the concept of equality. Instead of large counters with different radius, a single and equal module of the desk is designed for each member to be aggregated to others, in order to promote individuality and identity of nations, and at the same time express the strength of the union as one body to solve together the world problems.
The work is a complicated machine that encompasses design culture and diplomacy. An ambassador project of a culture that presents itself in a global scenario multiplying and reinterpreting the value of Qatari tradition such as the reinterpretation of Arabic calligraphy, which becomes decorative, or that of traditional patterns of the country on acoustic panels, bronze grids, fabrics, carpets, and mosaics.
The dome is an “inverted” dune with daily sunrise and sunset of the surrounding and circadian lighting system.
The dome and the wooden wall represent the natural beauty of Qatar, which is desert dunes and sea. Sand and water are the two greatest natural resources, the most precious and dynamic materials. Celebrating the dune is celebrating evolution, history, traditions and culture and at the same time a challenge to guide the necessary changes to improve our future with inventions, the progress of art and technology.
The new Room XIX is the first UN room with 60% of the seats usable by people with wheelchairs, the first with a Signs translation booth designed with technology specifically dedicated to sign interpreters, the first in the world with an artificial Circadian light that allows to balance the human biological clock aligned to the solar cycle.
And it is also the only UN’s room with a contribution of Natural light with sight on the park, the lake and the Mont Blanc, as a daily reminder of the climate change and the environmental emergencies of the planet.
The result is a room that stands as the ideal model for future UN rooms equipped with the best Audio-Video technology as well as inclusiveness, ergonomics, and accessibility.