Video: Refurbishing Midcentury Icons - The Art of Recycling Buildings

At Modern All Over Again, our annual conference on October 2, we convened an exceptional array of industry experts to discuss how to best revitalize and retrofit midcentury commercial buildings, public housing, and energy infrastructure in New York City. For the first time, we are sharing videos from those discussions.

In today’s installment, Refurbishing Midcentury Icons (Part 2) - The Art of Recycling Buildings, Michael Adlerstein (Assistant Secretary-General, United Nations) discusses the importance of retrofitting buildings and how that was accomplished at the United Nations headquarters, under the recently completed master plan. Adlerstein outlines the 12-month challenge of designing a replacement system for the failing curtain wall of the signature Secretariat Building that had to meet numerous criteria, including: “performance, longevity, lifecycle cost, historic preservation, security and sustainable design” all while creating a faithful representation of the original. Watch the video to learn Adlerstein’s answer to the question “would it have been cheaper to build an entirely new building rather than retrofit the Secretariat?”

Michael Adlerstein on Retrofitting the United Nations Headquarters

About the authors

Urban Green Council
Dedicated to transforming buildings for a sustainable future.