In 2005 we designed a 10,000 square foot hedge fund office in SoHo, in the penthouse atop the new building at the Northeast corner of Broadway and Houston Street. The penthouse is glazed on three sides and has 180 degrees of view and light. But no, we’re not at all jealous of their space.
Our principal challenges were firstly to preserve the height and openness of the space while accommodating the strict program, and secondly to combine the stature of a Wall Street trading office with the loftiness and modernity of a SoHo gallery.
Our solution with respect to the openness was to keep the management offices pulled back inside the space and facing the windows, rather than stacked up against the south windows and blocking the views. The file banks were kept low and used as an edge to the raised platform. They also double as seating to provide more breakout area.
The executive offices at the far end were glazed to match the existing exterior mullions, preserving the views and the late afternoon light from the southwest.
To maximize the height over the raised trading floor, we eschewed standard pendant lighting and designed an illuminated stretch ceiling which offered a softer and more even light source. The illuminators for the stretch ceiling are accessed remotely so the traders would not be disturbed for lamp replacement.
In lieu of traditional wood trading desks, we designed steel-framed tables with white etched glass tops. The reception and conference area combine walnut paneling and book-matched marble with a stained concrete floor and white plaster behind the reception desk.
The herringbone carpet in the conference room and the pinstriped carpet tiles on the trading floor are a contemporary reference to traditional men’s suiting. There is wood paneling throughout the offices, but in a light European walnut, with clean detailing.
The bar-style lunchroom faces the roof deck, and is designed to feel like a terrace café with cedar-lined walls, a veneer pendant, a stainless steel counter and red leather Bertoia stools. The breakout area in the glass corner keeps the end of the space open and airy, and emphasizes the gallery-like feel with red sofas and a Calder-esque mobile pendant.