One room in the UN building in New York, also referred to as the most important room in the world, was designed by Arnstein Arneberg (1882–1961). The exhibition explores how this room came about and the design that was ultimately adopted – an interior that has been the setting for momentous international political decisions affecting global peace and security.
UN Secretary General Trygve Lie (1896–1968) was instrumental in encouraging Norway, Sweden and Denmark to contribute funds and architects for their respective assembly rooms within the UN building. But how did the most prestigious of the many design tasks come to be given to Norway and Arneberg? The UN building was completed in 1952, the outcome of a collaboration between, among others, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer. Arneberg, who was just concluding his work on Oslo City Hall, teamed up with two fellow Norwegians for the design of the Security Council Chamber: the painter Per Krohg and textile artist Else Poulsson.
With a wealth of drawings, photographs, objects, letters, and press cuttings, the exhibition gives an insight into the world’s most important room, a space that reflects the varied influences of the Cold War, conflicting architectural ideologies, and strong personalities.
The book Sikkerhetsrådets sal (The Security Council Chamber) will be published by Forlaget Press to coincide with the exhibition. Both the book and the exhibition are a collaboration with the Directorate for Cultural Heritage.