NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. decided to upgrade its MarketSite building in Times Square as it leverages its growing New York City presence to attract more corporate clients and recruit more high-tech talent. NASDAQ executives say its city presence is central to its business strategy, with the number of employees in New York rising 84% to 568 since 2008.
Many of those new workers are technology professionals hired to develop software for the company’s business-information services. It’s important to take a look back at how this growth all started upon their acquisition and development of their prime location in Times Square.
Almost two decades ago, you couldn’t find NASDAQ on any street, much less Wall Street. The computers were housed in Connecticut while the offices were among regulators in Washington D.C. In 2000, NASDAQ eventually found a home for its MarketSite building on a prominent corner of Times Square, the urban crossroads where edifices and information meet.
It leased the first two floors of the corner drum of the Conde Nast building, which at that time was under construction, as well as the large signage billboard location above. New York–based Einhorn Yafee Prescott (EYP) Architecture & Engineering was hired to design a broadcast studio, public exhibition space, and corporate facilities (from the 25,000-square-foot area) below what would become an instantly iconic billboard: a virtual home for a digital stock exchange.
To create the MarketSite office, NASDAQ knew it needed deep expertise, so after hiring EYP, they put their trust into W&W Glass. one of the leading structural glass designers and installers in the country.
For maximum transparency, the designers opted for the Pilkington Planar™ structural glass system, utilizing laminated glass panels held in place by Pilkington Planar™ 905 fittings connected to stainless steel tension cable trusses.
The bustling streetscape seems to pour into the interior, while from the street, nothing obscures the 20-foot-tall stock-tracking video wall that backs NASDAQ’s ground-floor TV studio. The vertical walls were constructed of ultra-clear, Pilkington Optiwhite low-iron laminated glass for maximum transparency.
This point-supported structural glass system was designed to convey a hi-tech look, while providing a NYC address for branding and increased visibility. The main design concept works off the strong form of the exterior drum.
Designers did this in part by removing a portion of the second floor and adding a circular mezzanine to create a multi-tiered, glass cylinder. Upon entering the space, visitors walk past the security desk and around the curved back wall, which is sheathed in translucent glass.
The interior cylinder’s surface is divided by two clear openings, one of which reveals the broadcast control booth; the other, a transparent ribbon at mezzanine level, exposing the banks of computers that control the video wall.
The final outcome of the project was simply stunning, standing out in one of the most well-known blocks in the world.
W&W Glass helps design and engineer complex structural glass systems like NASDAQ MarketSite with architects across the country to achieve a high-end overall look.