Parabola of peace: The Best Weapon by Snøhetta
Client: The Nobel Peace Center
Location: UN Headquarters, New York City (US) / Nobel Peace Center, Oslo (NO)
The 'peace bench' designed by Snøhetta, developed in partnership with collaborators Hydro and Vestre and named The Best Weapon will be unveiled at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Nelson Mandela International Day on 18 July. The arched seat in anodised aluminium is to be moved later on from the UN plaza to its permanent location near the Nobel Peace Center in Oslo.
As a symbol of the achievements of diplomacy, The Best Weapon is a homage to the Nobel Peace Prize laureates and their efforts to bring people together. The 6.5-metre-long bench is to be seen not only as a symbolic expression of the mission of the Nobel Peace Center but also as an invitation to dialogue; given a flat parabolic shape, the bench touches the ground at its lowest point, making people sitting on it slide close together.
Snøhetta derived the name of the peace bench from Nelson Mandela's famous quote, "The best weapon is to sit down and talk", the wording of which is engraved on the surface of the installation.