Amsterdam and Shanghai-based artist Gabriel Lester , as a member of the interdisciplinary team of Irma Boom (graphic designer), Hella Jongerius (designer), Rem Koolhaas/OMA (architect) and Louise Schouwenberg (theoretician), has won the competition for the re-design of the UN’s North Delegates Lounge, one of the most prestigious and crucial spaces in the United Nations headquarters in New York.
Located near the General Assembly’s main plenary hall and enjoying a view of the East River, the space serves as a meeting place for thousands of policymakers and diplomats from the 192 UN’s member states. Four teams were asked to submit designs. To continue the tradition of the UN buildings originally designed by a team of well-known architects, including Wallace K. Harrison, Le Corbusier and Oscar Niemeyer, the winning team takes an interdisciplinary approach that centers on the original 1950s design and “combines a thorough architectural overhaul with a subtle use of materials and furnishings”. The renovation will be completed by the end of 2012.
Gabriel Lester (b.1972 in Amsterdam) works across various disciplines including cinema, music, performance, installation, sculpture and architecture. Atmospheric and perceptual, many of Lester’s works evolve around the very nature of the media of our time, and transform the space and time through meticulously altering the media and forms. “All Right” (2011), a re-production of his contribution to Busan Biennale 2006, is a short film solely composed of images and video clips found online. It was produced for the gallery’s inaugural exhibition “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”. His work is currently on view in the group show “TV Commune” (through January 24, 2012) at Nam June Paik Art Center, Korea.