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Kaufmann Conference Center, A Place That Matters

Kaufmann Conference Center interior

Kaufmann Conference Center at 809 United Nations Plaza, Midtown East, Manhattan.

In 1961, Finnish architect Alvar Aalto (1898-1976) designed the beautiful conference room on the 12th floor of the Institute for International Education (the organization that administers the Fulbright programs). This little-known gem of a meeting room is used by the Finnish consulate for its holiday gala in honor of Aalto, who is known in Finland and elsewhere as a master of the International Modernist style. The room can also be rented for public events. Try to attend one and you’ll see for yourself the curving ash and birch forms and the blue porcelain tiles that grace the space. The balcony looks out onto the UN.

This is the only work by Aalto in NYC. It was proposed for landmark designation in 2001 but has not been designated to date.