Apuana Lavorati

The council chambers in the UN building



“The narrower end façades are windowless, completely smooth and faced in white marble, while the two larger ones are huge, glass surfaces formed by small windowmodules repeated at least 2700 times over both façades. It is impossible to establish any proportional relationship whatsoever between the modules and the overall effect, between the human scale and the building scale, and the glass curtain walls resemble two connecting sheets, just like the two end walls. This is also because the luminous, green-tinted glass has a melding effect on the minute details of the metal framing. It is without a doubt a schematic architectural solution but, in a certain sense, much bolder and more courageous than anything done before, since it quite emphatically poses the problem of the modern skyscraper, formed by the indefinite repetition of human-scale modules, without being subjected to the optical limitations and rules of proportion dictated by tradition.”

Leonardo Benevolo, History of Modern Architecture, Gius. Laterza & Figli Spa, Rome-Bari 1960, p. 684 [XVIII. The Modern Movement in America].

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