The esplanade des Nations, or Esplanade of Nations, constructed in 2007, is composed of strips of granite from UN member countries, with ‘international' soil alternating with ‘neutral' slabs of the same grey concrete used for sidewalks in Geneva. A colossal fountain with 84 water jets echoes the international organisations present in the area. Jets playfully go on and off to accommodate the frequent gatherings here.
A sculpture called Broken Chair dominates the square from a height of 12 metres. At the behest of Handicap International, it was made in 1997 by sculptor Daniel Berset to convince nations to sign the convention banning landmines.
Resting on three legs with a fourth broken halfway up, it vibrantly evokes the fate of victims of landmines. The two walls that encircle the entrance of the Palais are decorated with designs on the theme of peace, made in 2009 and 2012 by the artist Hans Erni. The Esplanade of Nations immerses you viscerally in the heart of a forest of symbols.
L'esplanade des Nations
Place des Nations, facing the UN