Hani Rashid - co-founder of Asymptote Architecture with Lise Anne Couture - explains their approach with the singular statement: "We approached it as if it were an ordinary architecture project. The virtual space had to represent the intensity and architectural language of today's NYSE". The Asymptotes did not merely study the model of the equipment, but designed lights and colours, proportions and textures for the project.
The problem of the real location and concrete use of this "digital landscape" remained.
This was the reason for the Advanced Trading Floor Operation Center, intended to be something much more complex than an ordinary spatial container: thus the super-equipped technologically advanced NYSE PC workstation becomes a true "theatre of operations" - according to Rashid - with innovative aesthetic qualities which have made it the preferred set for television programmes on the Stock Exchange and a popular location for multimedia events.
The multifunctional operation center links negotiation spaces with the Blue Room, along a corridor known as "the Ramp" which also provides businessmen with a meeting place and has become a nerve-centre of the entire structure.
In formal terms, the environment is, appropriately, very high-tech, featuring a curved, sloped wall of blue glass hosting sixty liquid crystal monitors, enhanced by back lighting with fluorescent lights to which blue gelatine is added to accentuate the pigmentation of the glass.
Steel plays an important role alongside the glass: this is the material used in the console supporting the data panel, which is also blue and is equipped with telephones and PCs.
Curved panels also incorporating metal elements slice through the space, made of glass toward the ceiling and steel in the part nearer the floor.
The centre is completed and decorated by a mural painted on the back wall, also backlit, which is of course inspired by the cybernetic aesthetic, in that field of contamination between digital technology and architecture which is the preferred territory for the Asymptote group's investigation of space.
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