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[Extract] In 1926 a competition was opened to design a building to house the League of Nations. The building was to be located on the shores of Lake Geneva within an extensive park. The Palais des Nations, as it was known, was to be imposing, a landmark and able to house 'the many organs of the League of Nations'. These 'many organs' should be able to operate within this building 'independently and easily in the calm atmosphere which should prevail when dealing with problems of an international dimension'. The building was envisaged from the outset as a metaphor for this new and highly aspirational form of international governance and connection. The winning design, reflecting the cooperative, transnational objectives of the League, was five favoured proposals from four countries rolled into one. The Palais des Nations' foundation stone was unveiled in September 1929, one month before the Great Depression, although construction proceeded over the ensuing eight years despite the massing financial difficulties; League meetings were first held there from 1937.


Institute for Humanities and Social Sciences

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