The Palais des Nations is home to the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG), which serves as the representative office of the Secretary-General in Geneva. It is a focal point for multilateral diplomacy and services more than 10,000 meetings and conferences every year, making it one of the busiest conference centers in the world. Once the Strategic Heritage Plan (SHP) – the renovation of the Palais des Nations – is completed, an additional 700 UN staff members will relocate to the Palais des Nations.
The SHP was approved by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015. The project, which includes the construction of a new permanent office building, will extensively renovate the main Palais des Nations complex of buildings, much of which dates back to the 1930s. The historic buildings will be fully renovated, with priority given to protecting the heritage of the Palais des Nations, while modernizing the core building and conference support systems, improving working conditions and safety, as well as providing accessibility for persons with disabilities. The total cost of the project, scheduled to be completed in 2025, is 836.5 million CHF.
After three years of construction, the new office building H at the Palais des Nations was inaugurated in November 2021 and is home to nearly 1,500 staff working flexibly in a 24,000-square-meter sustainable office building.
“With the opening of this new building, we have achieved a critical component of the Strategic Heritage Plan approved by the General Assembly in 2015. It is an exciting step forward as the Palais des Nations undergoes a much-needed facelift to make it a modern workplace and conferencing facility that meets today’s standards in terms of safety and accessibility."
SHP Project Director, David Mc Cuaig.
Section AC, the first section of the historic Palais buildings under renovation, is planned to be completed and returned to UNOG in December 2022. Heritage furniture has already been reinstalled and the final audio-visual installations testing and commissioning is underway in the conference rooms.
Building A conference rooms, which include the main assembly hall, are planned to be returned in 2023. Ahead of the closure of Building E, this will ensure full continuity of conferencing.
The temporary conference building Tempus, which was originally opened in September 2020 with three 200-seat conference rooms, has been reconfigured during summer 2022 to become one large 600-seat conference room to replace the large rooms within Building E whilst the renovation of this building takes place.
The major schedule milestones for the project are:
- To start, in 2021, to use the new building as swing space and renovate the historic Palais des Nations
- To dismantle the “E” building tower once the swing space is no longer needed; and, finally
- To complete the overall project in 2025
Innovative work spaces
This film presents the new Building H which is home to approximately 1,500 staff and fully supports flexible workplace strategies in an environment that prioritizes their wellbeing. Accessibility for persons with disabilities is one of the main objectives of the Strategic Heritage Plan and has been fully integrated into the design of the new building.