The UNESCO House, an iconic building

Unesco par Esprit de France
Do you want to visit Paris ? Stay at
Hôtel d'Orsay
Hôtel d'Orsay de la collection Esprit de France

Designed by the Frenchman Bernard Zehrfuss, the American Marcel Breuer and the Italian Pier Luigi Nervi

As a matter of interest, the main mission of Unesco is the classification of monuments of outstanding interest for the common heritage of humanity and its headquarters in Paris is a modern and emblematic building. The main Unesco building, called the Fontenoy site, as it stands on Place Fontenoy and overlooks the rear facade of the Ecole Militaire, is the result of the collaboration of the greatest architects of the 1950s. Designed by the Frenchman Bernard Zehrfuss, the American Marcel Breuer and the Italian Pier Luigi Nervi, this project was validated by a committee of 5 architects including Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius and Lucio Costa. Consisting of a main unit of 7 floors forming a star with 3 branches to which is added an "accordeon like" building (a conference center) and a cubic building (for non-governmental organizations), it was inaugurated in November 1958. Subsequently other small outbuildings were added so as not to interfere with the visual approach of the main building: square-shaped, they are buried around six patios created by Roberto Burle Marx (the famous Brazilian landscape architect responsible for the layout of the beach promenade in Rio de Janeiro).

tadao et oat pour l'unescoLater on, the Japanese architect Tadao Ando was asked to imagine a symbol of peace to commemorate the 50th anniversary of UNESCO: he designed a concrete meditation space, cylindrical in shape, that combines sheer matter and light. Many artists have also been invited to participate in the development through a work of art. Outside, you can see sculptures by Henry Moore, Alexander Calder and the Spanish Basque Eduardo Chillida. Inside, a beautiful ceramic by Joan Miro entitled The sky and the moon, and a Picasso mural (covering 90m2, his largest work) representing The Fall of Icarus (or The Forces of Life and Spirit triumphing over Evil). These works were followed by many others: commissions to Giacometti, Lurçat, Noguchi and Jean Arp for example, but also donations such as that of Tunisia which offered a Roman mosaic of the end of the second century, The God-Huntress Diana. In short, this is an ensemble as exceptional as that of the United Nations headquarters in New York, but the visit of which is currently reserved for organized groups!