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Improved Trading Floor Blends the Old and the New

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Best Interior Design/Tenant Improvement

Photo by Eduard Hueber/Architectural Photographer
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To modernize New York's world famous trading floor at the New York Stock Exchange, the project team took what worked there for decades and improved on it. This included replacing booths, where brokers for decades had placed orders, with rows of desks tucked behind curving translucent glass walls.

"The existing trading floor was layered with decades of millwork interventions and infrastructure upgrades to respond to the frequently changing needs of the broker community," says design firm Perkins Eastman. "The NYSE Euronext's blend of high-tech, high-touch trading is now tailored to the current financial marketplace where milliseconds in trading speed is equally as important as the iconic exchange floor itself."

A trader who sits at any of the 200 desks can scan data on up to six monitors, which are arranged vertically, on posts, because the desks are packed into tiny 2-ft by 2-ft areas. Chairs are positioned so that traders can still see into the post areas of the trading floor, where monitors constantly display critical information. But at the same time, some of the old wooden booths were retained along the southern wall.

To keep sight lines clean and to maximize room for keyboards and monitors in the trading desk areas, printers and fax machines were hidden behind partitions. Arched windows that were covered for years have been opened up and then backlit by LEDs, while compartments at their base conceal new fan-coil systems.

To route new high-speed cables across the room would have required punching many holes in the floor that might have weakened it. Therefore, the project team decided to rebuild the floor. They poured a new concrete subfloor as well as filled in what had been an ash layer between the terra-cotta arches that support it underneath. Then, a new recycled concrete tile floor was added and topped with wood. The renovation, which also refurbished the cavernous room's marble walls, proceeded at night and on weekends, when the stock exchange was quiet.

"Very innovative," says one ENR New York judge. "This was a very high-tech installation. A combination of the old and the new that works very well."

NYSE Euronext: Next-Generation Trading Floor, New York

Key Players

Owner/Developer: New York Stock Exchange/Euronext

Construction Manager: Tishman Technologies Corp.

Lead Designer/Architect: Perkins Eastman

Structural Engineer: Severud Associates

Submitted by: Perkins Eastman

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