Renovation of Room I

Fast Facts on Room I

How much will the renovation cost and how is it being financed ?

The renovation is at no cost to UNESCO.  The entirety of the renovation works have been financed by a generous contribution of $6.1 million USD donated by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rachid Al Maktoum.


Who is involved in working on the renovation ?

Over 10 different actors are involved in this extensive restoration, including UNESCO staff, consulting architect JEAN-LOUP ROUBERT, assistant project manager ORENOQUE, architect /engineer CALQ, supervising office QUALICONSULT, health and safety office VERITAS, PILOTYS for scheduling and coordination, FLB for the architectural lots, DERICHEBOURG for the technical lots and CESA /VIDELIO for the audiovisual and electrical lots.  The project is overseen by the UNESCO Steering Committee.


 Why was Room I changed in 1980 from its original 1958 interior design ?

Room I was refurbished in 1980 as part of a large-scale renovation project encompassing all the conference areas at the UNESCO Headquarters.  The design was altered to increase the Room’s seating capacity (from 998 to 1368 places) in order to cater to the increased number of Member States, and to integrate the new audio technologies that had become available.  The current renovation of Room I will maintain the seating capacity, all the while returning Room I to its iconic original design, envisaged by the architects of 1958.


How many interpretation booths will the renovated Room I?

The are currently seven interpretation booths in Room I. This number will be maintained despite increased seating on the ground floor. Thanks to the additional funding given by our donor, the interpretation booths will also be fully refurbished, including a new air conditioning system and increased acoustic performance. 


Were there any specific requests from the General Conference Secretariat ?

Upon request of the Governing Bodies Secretariat (GBS), the new design has allowed for an increase in ground-level seating capacity, with up to 30 new seats, including those suitable for low-mobility access.  GBS also requested that the interpretation booths be given included in the refurbishment project, and that design and functionality of the room be ameliorated to better cater for the General conference.

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