Archives of WHO

Construction of the main WHO building

This year is the 40th anniversary of the construction of WHO's main building.

The World Health Organization was established in 1948 and was housed at the Palais des Nations until the mid-1960s. In 1950-51, an extension was added to the Ariana wing of the Palais in order to provide more space. Eventually it became clear that WHO had outgrown its accommodations, and at the 1959 World Health Assembly, a resolution was passed in favour of constructing a new headquarters building.

Building of the Headquarters of the WHO : Panel titel

After an international competition, a design by well-known Swiss architect Jean Tschumi was chosen. It was the last building designed by Tschumi, who died before its construction. The building was inaugurated in May 1966, and additions and annexes were added over the years. An additional building, a joint project between WHO and UNAIDS, was completed in 2006.

The story of the construction of the WHO HQ building is outlined in the following pdf panels.