In the late 1990s, the United Nations developed a master plan for its iconic complex that outlined a series of infrastructure upgrades including structural, mechanical, electrical, and technology for the entire site. As an integral part of the implementation of this master plan, we worked with the United Nations Capital Master Plan Unit to develop a comprehensive functional program for the site and long-term occupancy phasing options.
We developed a structured approach to gathering the programmatic needs of more than 80 distinct user groups that occupy spaces within the 3.5 million square feet of the United Nations New York area portfolio. This process yielded valuable insight into the daily operations of the various groups and provided a clear cross-reference and balance between the needs of a group and the overall demand for the renovation. The approach also provided an auditable information trail, an important contribution to planning when a project extends across many years during which key representatives may move on to new roles or retire from service. Using data gathered from in-depth interviews and focus groups, we developed a complete functional program for the onsite and offsite occupancies. We then further refined the program through both descriptive and diagrammatic swing space planning that allows all users to easily understand how their work will be impacted by the phased renovation and how their final occupancy will support their roles and responsibilities.