The United Nations and New York City

A Home for the World


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SpecificationsISBN: 978-1-951541-30-9 Binding: Hard Bound Pages: 144pp Publication Date: Fall 2020 Size: 10.5” x 12.25” Portrait World Rights: Available

Available on backorder

Coinciding with the 75th anniversary of the signing of the United Nations charter, this visually driven book tells the story of the special relationship between the UN and New York City through the interrelated lenses of architecture, real estate, and urban planning. It will be illustrated with rare archival photographs and architectural drawings, as well as newly commissioned photographs. The book will include written contributions from UN-affiliated individuals of note, including current and former UN secretaries-general, ambassadors to the UN, mayors, governors, historians, architecture critics, and other luminaries.

The book begins by chronicling how New York came to be the permanent home of the UN, including the individuals, institutions, and other forces that helped the city secure the headquarters of the UN—among them the Rockefeller family, William Zeckendorf, and Robert Moses. The book then presents the architectural and urban design journey to create the iconic UN campus by a global team of architectural giants such as Wallace K. Harrison, Le Corbusier, and Oscar Niemeyer, with archival photos and architectural drawings and renderings. It also charts how the real estate needs of the UN evolved over time, leading to the creation of the United Nations Development Corporation (UNDC) and its commissioning of three architecturally significant buildings at UN Plaza that have helped keep the UN in New York City. Also included are sections on the $2 billion renovation and restoration of the UN campus and proposals past and present for additional architectural commissions. Additional sections will document visually how New York City and the UN have helped shape each other over the years; and how both continue to change and evolve.

Unique for its architectural and urbanistic focus, The United Nations and New York City: A Home for the World will celebrate this important global organization’s many accomplishments past, present, and future.


Raul Barreneche is a New York-based brand strategist and writer. A longtime journalist, Barreneche is former executive editor of Architecture and has written extensively for major publications including Architectural Digest, Departures, ELLE Décor, and the New York Times, and has authored eleven books on design for Rizzoli, Phaidon, and other imprints. He remains a contributing editor to Interior Design. Barreneche holds a professional architecture degree from Carnegie Mellon University.

Pentagram is the world’s largest independently owned design consultancy. For five decades, they have embraced the philosophy of design as a collaborative discipline, with a structure unique among design firms.

The company is run by 25 partners, all practicing designers who are leaders in their individual fields. Working from offices in New York, London, Austin and Berlin, each partner manages their own team and projects. This approach allows us to retain the creative intensity that characterizes the smallest—and best—design firms. We are the only major design studio where the owners of the business are the creators of the work and serve as the primary contact for every client.




Hard Bound



Publication date

Fall 2020


10.5” x 12.25” Portrait

World rights