United Nations NY Headquarters - NO CC

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Uploaded: 18th Jul 2015 at 10:12 AM
Updated: 2nd Jun 2016 at 3:53 AM
When I saw the gorgeous sticker for July's theme, my first thought went to the row of flags from every country that line the street in front of the United Nations headquarters in New York City, and suddenly I realized I'd found my inspiration for this month!

The headquarters of the United Nations, a global intergovernmental organization formed in 1945 at the end of WWII, this complex of buildings occupies a larger area on the eastern shore of Manhattan, looking out across the East River. Buildings on site provide meeting space, research facilities, offices, and assembly halls for all but one of the principle organs of the UN (The International Court of Justice is the only organ not headquartered in this complex, being located in The Hague).

In copying this lot into the game, I was forced to alter certain of the real-life UN's offices and buildings, just to make them fit on one relatively small lot properly. This means that, while the exterior is a pretty good match for the real UN headquarters, the interior is much reduced in scale, and some offices (most notably the assembly rooms for the Security Council, Economic and Social Council, and Trusteeship Council) are combined on my lot.

While the United Nations was formally established on October 24th, 1945, it would be several years before there was a dedicated complex for the organization to operate out of. An international team was assembled by the UN to design their headquarters, led by American architect Wallace K. Harrison. There was much debate over the location for the headquarters complex, but in the end, the lot on the shores of the East River in New York City was donated by John D. Rockefeller Jr., making it the obvious choice.

The complex itself is all connected, but there are many distinct structures housing different organs and offices of the UN. Most noticeable is the tall Secretariat building, rising high above the rest of the complex, and housing the administrative offices for the management of this enormous organization. The principle governing body of the United Nations, however, is located in the low, curved structure near the front of the lot, the General Assembly. In this organ, every nation on the planet is represented, with the idea being that each one should have a say in deciding the course of events on a global scale. In practice however, perhaps the most powerful organ of the United Nations is the Security Council, which along with several other organs is housed in the Conference Building along the East River on the back of the lot. This organ has the power to shape UN policy even more than the General Assembly in large part due to the ability of five nations (US, UK, France, Russia, and China) to veto any resolution discussed (also leading to widespread criticism of the body as being, at its core, undemocratic). (In my Sims lot, the Security Council, Economic and Social Council, and Trusteeship Council assembly rooms have been consolidated into one chamber, incorporating some elements from each of their real-world counterparts- thankfully, there are a lot of similarities between their meeting rooms!)

The United Nations also needs to be able to maintain records of its extensive series of missions and programs around the world, as well as having a well-equipped research facility for the various delegates on site. For the New York headquarters, this is represented by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, another low-slung building at the front of the lot. Named for the second Secretary-General of the UN, this library serves as a repository for UN documents and publications, and also as the important research facility for delegations and UN staff working on current resolutions.

The United Nations headquarters also provides a variety of services to both its delegates and staff, and the public at large, including a restaurant located within the Conference Building, the Delegates Dining Room. While it is often used for visiting dignitaries and delegations, the dining room is also occasionally open to the public, giving the everyday individual a glimpse at another aspect of this international organization (and its international menu! )

The United Nations headquarters may be situated in New York City, within the borders of the United States, but it is considered to have extraterritorial status, meaning it is not official part of any country. In the real world, this raises any number of fascinating or troubling legal questions- in the Sims, it probably won't have any effect at all! The unique characteristics of this complex made it interesting to replicate in-game, but resulted in a lot that can by tricky to find out how best to use...

In the game, this lot is probably best used for either storytelling, or as a town hall or capitol building -type structure, owing to its design. Sims with an eye for political power can use the teleprompter-equipped podium in the General Assembly room to harangue their fellow Sims into following their political ideology, while those with an eye for learning about the history of the global political process may be more interested in the resources available at the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, and couples with an interesting sense of what constitutes a "night out" may find that a romantic meal in the Delegates Dining Room is just what they want- there's all sorts of potential here, and the flags of all different nations waving (OK, fine, not waving- they're actually CFE'd walls!) in the breeze out front make it clear that this is a place for all who wish to come!

Now for the nitty-gritty...
I wanted to make sure that this lot would be playable with a large number of Sims (you need people to fill up those seats in the assembly rooms, after all!), even with its rather large scale, so there are fewer decorations and tricky little details spread throughout the facility than I would normally have placed. That being said, it is still a large lot (duh), ringing it at more than $700,000, so it may experience some lag on older or slower computers.

The roofs of both the General Assembly building and the Dag Hammarskjöld Library, as well as the flags that line the front of the lot, use CFE work to achieve the right curves- it shouldn't pose any problems in gameplay, but if you do decide to do any remodeling work on either of these buildings, just keep an eye on those rooflines and make sure they're not being distorted!

A clone of this lot was visited and playtested, and no major problems were immediately apparent, however as always, if you find any in your gameplay, let me know and I'll do my best to address them!

Lot Size: 5x3
Lot Price (furnished): $704,398

Additional Credits:
While the interior of this building is more "inspired" by the UN headquarters than it is an exact copy, I'd like to think I've managed to do the exterior justice, so credit should go to Wallace Harrison and the international team commissioned by the UN to design their New York headquarters! I also used the LEGO Architecture model of the United Nations as a reference, since it meant someone else had already done the work to make the building fit a grid!