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A “Billboard” on 1st Ave.

----U.N. Headquarter for Sustainability


Location: U.N. Plot, East River Bank, Manhattan, NYC

Tutor: Henri van Bennekom, Maarten Meijs

Date: 2012.9 ---- 2013.7  MSc 3/4 Tudelft

Grade: 8.5

Environmental Council Building as well as the U.N. Headquarter for sustainability is not just a office building, but an icon of sustainability.

The design focuses on the pure power and beauty of architecture in a way to make a strong statement to the world that the significance of sustainability. 

In this sense, if architecture wants to make a statement, how can it be?

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Concept/ starting point


Food, water, energy and green space are the most concerned topics for people, because our daily lives are all about these facts.

The responsibility of the Environmental Council Building is to propagate knowledge to people, calling for more attentions and actions.

Being inspired by Time square, my starting point is to integrate an "urban screen" with architecture design in a way to achieve such purpose.

U.N Headquarter-- A visual symbol of peace
The United Nations Headquarters, on the east river bank at 42nd street in New York City, is so much more than a milestone of modern building, but rather a visual symbol of peace----it is the center of a worldwide network of diplomatic activity, peacekeeping efforts, specialized agencies, and nongovernmental organizations representing a world public. Under such a great task, the new Environment Council Building is focused on helping the world to create a more sustainable future.

Towards a better future!


When people are walking on the slope, they can see through the "urban screen" of a cleaner and better future that we all expect, however it's a long way to go, that's why every one of us has to be involved.



The SHAPE----Connection & Transformation

A contrasting image with Manhattan city


Manhattan is a grid city consisting all kinds of concrete and steel blocks. On the contrary, the Environmental Council Building expresses exactly an opposite image with the rest of the city for being low, horizontal and curved. There is a gigantic but gentle slope, which starts from the existing platform and goes slowly to the other side of the plot. The slope suggests an attitude of continuation of history and time, and the mountain-like shape symbolizes the challenge that we are facing.


To summarize: A triangle shape connects the existing platform and eventually become a new icon.

“Signs inflect toward the highway even more than buildings. “

---- Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas, The MIT Press Cambridge, Massachusetts, and London, England, page50-51

Billboards in the city


Like all kinds of commercial area, it is impossible to ignore those giants billboards and flashing neon lights, which is also the most direct way of giving information and getting information.


Structure, Space and Council Chamber


The design of structure forms a unique interior space and experience, which highly corresponds with the shape of the building.


The structure is exposed in the main hallway for exhibition, it's a ramp space leading to the Council Chamber, which is located at the very heart of the building. People can walk until the transparent glass curtain and look inside.


The main hallway is defined by the span of structure as well as the curved roof panels. The exhibition space is a relatively dark and long space, reminding people of a train in a tunnel, as it emphasizes one direction and leads people to the end of their visits, which is the Council Chamber.






Behind the "screen", there are eleven concrete columns, which are the structural support. These columns come out as if they break the ground and stand up in front the world.



For architecture, structure is the real strength, and it defines the space;

For the responsibility of Environmental Council Building, the Council Chamber is the intellectual support;

However in this design, these two cores work together and shape a unique icon of sustainability.

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