7 Place de Fontenoy, Paris, France
At the outset, Noguchi was commissioned by the decade-old organization to plan a terrace to be situated outside of the Secretariat building (part of a campus designed by architects Marcel Breuer, Pier Luigi Nervi, and Bernard Zehrfuss) where members and visitors could congregate. Noguchi proposed a grander vision for the unplanned space between the porch and the adjacent Building 3. To complement the delegates’ patio, itself inspired by the communal experience of the Japanese tea ceremony, Noguchi planned something “in the spirit of” a Japanese garden, composed of rock formations (collected at different sites in Japan), ponds, and plantings all linked by a gently sloping path influenced by a feature of kabuki theater. The planning and execution of the garden was a crash course he would draw on for the rest of his career.