I had recently the opportunity to visit the headquarters of UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization). UNESCO’s mission is “to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information”.
UNESCO has 195 member states, but certain countries have withdrawn / reentered the organization depending on changing political views, the last example perhaps being the admittance of Palestine in 2011 which led the United States to stop their funding.
In 1998 the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights, developed by UNESCO, were endorsed by the UN.
UNESCO inscribes sites on the World Heritage List, today some 900 sites.
UNESCO has tens of field offices over the world, but the central office is thus situated in Paris.
Unfortunately my visit was on a rainy day, which somehow complicated the possibilities for more attractive photos. Also, the Y-shaped design of the main building makes it look more interesting, when seen from above. I had no helicopter at my disposal… hopefully the Google map helps to give some kind of impression.
The buildings date from 1958 and were designed by three cooperating architects (Marcel Breuer, Pier Luigi Nervi and Bernhard Zehrfuss) and approved by an international panel (Gropius, Le Corbusier, Saarinen…). Le Corbusier and later Renzo Piano have also directly contributed.
On the top floor of the main building there are restaurants, canteens, which allow a splendid view of Paris and it gives also a better view of the other buildings, actually to a large part “hidden” by the lawn, and also the building with the nickname “the accordion” which houses conference rooms, especially the large one for the plenary sessions, which of course also is used for other purposes, concerts…
There is a beautiful park, different monuments and many artworks inside and outside, mostly donated by the artists or by member nations. On the top picture we can e.g. see sculptures by Calder and Henry Moore. Inside, you find works of Arp, Giacometti, Vasarély, Tapiès, Picasso, Le Corbusier, Lurçat, Miro… There is also space for temporary exhibitions. (Below, there is a little extra post about the hatching goose.)