On Thursday April 25th, the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the United Nations Headquarters in New York was reopened.
For the past three years, the Trusteeship Council Chamber at the UN, originally designed by renowned Danish architect Finn Juhl in 1952, has been closed for a grand-scale restoration. In a close collaboration between the UN and the Government of Denmark, the Trusteeship Council Chamber has been completely restored and updated with new furniture, designed by Danish design-duo Kasper Salto and Thomas Sigsgaard.
It now stands as a perfect example of both the legacy and the future of Danish architecture and design in one of the most iconic buildings in New York.
The restored Trusteeship Council Chamber. Photo: Hans Ole Madsen
Secretariat table and chairs by Salto & Sigsgaard. Photo: OneCollection
In attendance at the opening ceremony was H.E. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, HRH the Crown Princess of Denmark and Minister for Development Cooperation Christian Friis Bach.In his opening remarks Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon thanked Denmark for "its extraordinary support for this room, from its birth until today – its re-birth.”
“The Trusteeship Council Chamber is an inclusive room where everyone can easily communicate. It fosters dialogue. Although we no longer meet here on trust territories, we will hold many important discussions in this Chamber. I am confident that they will further advance the values of the United Nations,” said the Secretary-General.
HRH the Crown Princess of Denmark spoke on how design continues to influence the lives of people all around the world. "Design – perhaps more so than ever - has the power to play a transformative role in how dialogue is conducted in our global community. As this refurbished Chamber symbolises, Danish Design combines the qualities of being modern, cosmopolitan, democratic and respectful of human beings – it considers our immediate daily needs, as well as our complex cultural histories and dreams of a brighter future."
HRH the Crown Princess and HE Ban Ki-moon in Salto & Sigsgaards new chairs. Photo: Benjamin Kürstein
Assistant Secretary-General Michael Adlerstein is Executive Director of the entire renovation of the UN headquarters and has been part of the restoration of the Danish chamber from the very beginning.“The fusion of Kasper Salto’s and Thomas Sigsgaard's elegant new tables and chairs with the character-defining features of Finn Juhl's landmark design invites us to rediscover a masterpiece of modern design in the renovated Trusteeship Council Chamber,” said Mr. Adlerstein.
For designers Kasper Salto and Thomas Sigsgaard, the biggest challenge has been attaining the balance between contrasting and blending into Juhl’s existing interior.
“Our motto has been letting the furniture add to the existing room by having them consist of as few elements and parts as possible. Respecting the room and the consequent use of wood in the room,” said the two designers.
The restoration of the Trusteeship Council Chamber was carried out as a collaborative effort by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Danish Ministry of Culture, Realdania and the United Nations.
"Council Chair" by Salto & Sigsgaard. Designed for restored Trusteeship Council Chamber. Photo: Hans Ole Madsen