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Room XVI was originally the Assembly’s press room. Making it into a meeting room in 1960-1962 required major structural alterations involving the demolition of load-bearing masonry and concrete and the construction of a partition, reinforced concrete beams to support the interpretation booths, and two sets of stairs to reach them. There are 16 interpretation booths in two sets of eight on either side of the room, each set comprising two levels and constructed around a metal skeleton.
The new room was first used in June 1961, for the 46th session of the International Labour Conference, but work continued until 1962. Completion of the work resumed in 1968, when radiator screens were installed and the blinds ordered. The year after, the electrical control system for the blinds was installed and the soundproofing for the interpretation booths was improved. After work had been carried out as part of the Assembly Hall refurbishment programme, which also included the adjacent room, room XVI was completely renovated in 1996.