Fact Sheet: United Nations Headquarters
The exterior facings of the 550-foot tall Secretariat Building are made exclusively of aluminum, glass and marble. Wide areas of green-tinted glass are unbroken by conventional setbacks. In contrast, the windowless north and south facades of the building are faced with 2,000 tons of Vermont marble. In addition to the 39 storeys above ground, there are three basement levels connecting with the three basements of the Conference Building. Facilities below street level include maintenance shops, a fire-fighting unit, receiving and loading platforms, a diplomatic mail pouch dispatch unit, security offices, storage space, a three-level garage, an automobile service station and a refrigeration plant for air-conditioning.
Inside the building, while some modern conveniences are provided for efficient functioning of the staff, there is nothing elaborate and offices are generally small, with no wasted space. The glass in the aluminum framed windows lets in a maximum of light over the 20 acres of office space, and is specially designed to help retain solar heat. This, coupled with 4,000 under-the-window air-conditioning units, offers comfortable working conditions.
Movable steel partitions, which attach to brackets on the superstructure, can be shifted quickly and easily to meet changing requirements for office space. Ducts under the floors provide telephone, electric and signaling connections at six-foot intervals. An integrated system of electric dumb-waiters speeds the movement of documents and mail throughout the building.