In launching our inaugural Existing Conditions Innovation Challenge in February 2023, we set out to empower the next generation of architects.
This case study discusses the remarkable journey of Existing Conditions in a project spanning almost a decade at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), a prestigious institution at the heart of global finance.
Within this blog, we delve into the intricacies of our collaboration, the unique challenges we faced, and the solution of bringing Existing Conditions on to capture the essence of this iconic location. Existing Conditions’ partnership with renowned architectural firms and project management, a commitment to precision, and the ability to adapt to a high-security, bustling environment are at the core of our story.
In turn, the project team could rejuvenate the spaces and make the most of this iconic property. Existing Conditions’ dedication to delivering high-quality existing conditions drawings and adaptability to complex environments positioned us as the solution the client needed to transform and revitalize these spaces. Join us as we explore the details of our multi-phase project at the NYSE.
Witness the remarkable journey of revitalizing the iconic NYSE. Join us in redefining history and innovation. Watch the video below and be inspired by the power of precision and progress. Plus, gain exclusive insights as we interview Founder & CEO, Kurt Yeghian, highlighting how our reliable, as-built drawings are shaping the future of this iconic space.
History of the New York Stock Exchange
According to the New York Stock Exchange, the NYSE has a rich history dating back to its founding in 1792 with the Buttonwood Agreement. While officially established then, its roots trace further to the 1600s with the Dutch's presence in New Amsterdam. Over the years, the NYSE evolved, introducing key technologies like stock tickers and telephones, enabling efficient trading. The iconic bell ringing to open and close the market became a hallmark.
Exterior image of the New York Stock Exchange, 1905 (courtesy of the Library of Congress)
The 20th century brought significant developments, including technological advancements and diversity in membership. The NYSE's enduring legacy as a global financial institution was demonstrated during significant events like the 1929 stock market crash and the challenges of the 21st century, marking its central role in the world of finance.
Crowds outside of the New York Stock Exchange, 1929 (courtesy of the Library of Congress)
Existing Conditions’ journey at the NYSE has been defined by exceptional collaborations with leading project management and architectural firms. These partnerships have not only expanded our horizons but have also contributed to the success of this landmark project.
STUDIOs Architecture and Gardiner & Theobald
In 2015, Existing Conditions began the first phase of the NYSE project in collaboration with STUDIOs Architecture and the owner's Project Management team, Gardiner & Theobald. Existing Conditions’ clients expressed their interest on March 6, 2015, to collaborate on the project. The owner's project management team engaged us to document the executive levels of the building, emphasizing the intricacy and need for comprehensive interior drawings and reflected ceiling plans. On March 26, 2015, Existing Conditions conducted a kickoff meeting, and shortly after, the project deal was officially closed.
Interior view of the Boardroom
On March 17, 2016, STUDIOs Architecture chose Existing Conditions for phase two, including the iconic Bell Balcony. This collaboration marked a vital step in restoring the historical space and solidifying trust with our clients. The partnership was sealed, finalizing the deal by March 30, 2016.
Laser scan data to drawing of the Bell Balcony
Clay Form Architecture
On September 3rd, 2021, Clay Form Architecture selected Existing Conditions to partner on phase three of the project. The third phase of the project aimed to deliver precise documentation of the staircase and basement level. This collaboration underscored the significance of maintaining a consistent and proficient team to continue a successful project.
Jesus Bravo, Operations Director utilizing the Leica RTC360 to document the exterior of the NYSE
Perkins + Will and Gardiner & Theobald
It was September 9th, 2021, when Existing Conditions embarked on the exciting journey of the fourth phase at the NYSE. During this pivotal phase, the project management team at the NYSE and Perkins + Will opted for a strategic collaboration with Existing Conditions, entrusting us with the crucial task of meticulously documenting the iconic Main Trading Room Floor and Buttonwood sections of the NYSE. This decision marked a significant milestone in our ongoing partnership and reaffirmed the trust the NYSE places in our expertise and cutting-edge technology for capturing the existing conditions of this one-of-a-kind structure.
An interior view of laser scan data from the Main Trading Room Floor
Perkins + Will, along with Gardiner & Theobald played a pivotal role in the next endeavor, bringing us on board to document the B level of the NYSE on June 9th, 2022, and the B2 level on November 17th, 2022. Their need for comprehensive interior and exterior documentation of the B and B2 levels required a partner who could deliver precision and accuracy. Existing Conditions rose to the occasion, and our collaboration with these firms further solidified our reputation for being a valuable partner to our clients.
Journey at the NYSE: Precision in Global Finance
Existing Conditions’ journey is a testament to the trust our esteemed partners have placed in our experience, equipment, and expertise, reaffirming our position as the go-to team for capturing the existing conditions of this unparalleled structure. As we move forward, we remain dedicated to maintaining these lofty standards, ensuring that the NYSE stands as a symbol of precision in the world of finance.
Scope of Work Evolution
Phase I: Documenting the Heart of NYSE
In Phase I of this remarkable project, which commenced in 2015, Existing Conditions delved into the heart of the NYSE, focusing on the Boardroom level and the level immediately below it. These spaces held unique features, including a club-like bar adorned with leather couches and dark wood, a retreat for those looking to toast their achievements. The project, which eventually became known for its intricate interior elevations, started with scanning these areas.
The schedule was carefully planned, as the NYSE buzzed with financial activity during the day. Our work had to integrate into this dynamic environment. On March 26, 2015, Existing Conditions had the kick-off walkthrough meeting with our clients, setting the stage for what was to come. The night of April 10th, 2015, starting at 3 p.m., marked the beginning of the scanning process. Kurt Yeghian, our Founder & CEO initiated the scanning, and Brian Ely, our VP of Operations, along with a team member, completed this crucial task.
Kurt Yeghian, Founder & CEO at the NYSE’s Boardroom
The culmination of these efforts led to the final deliverables sent on June 5th, 2015, notable for Existing Conditions’ exceptional level of detail. Existing Conditions delivered interior elevations, floor plans, and reflected ceiling plans (RCPs) for the 6th and 7th floors. While other deliveries had been sent earlier, this final set of deliverables showcased Existing Conditions' commitment to precision and attention to detail, setting the stage for the phases that followed.
Interior elevation of the Boardroom
Phase II: Bell Balcony
Accessing the site was no small feat, requiring passage through multiple security checkpoints. On April 11th, 2016, the Existing Conditions team embarked on-site to perform the necessary scanning. Stepping onto the Main Trading Room Floor was a humbling experience, as the vast space soared to heights exceeding 50 feet. The breathtakingly high ceiling underscored the need for the client to restore the bell tower, as the existing one was small and constrained.
Existing Conditions' involvement in this project continued to showcase their commitment to delivering precise and accurate documentation for spaces of historical significance. On April 27, 2016, we sent all the deliverables, including comprehensive floor plans, detailed exterior elevations, and meticulously crafted reflected ceiling plans, marking yet another successful phase in our journey.
On-site image of the Leica RTC360 scanning the Bell Balcony
Phase III: Basement Level and Exterior
In Phase III, Existing Conditions expanded our horizons at the NYSE by venturing beyond the interior spaces. Collaborating with Clay Form Architecture, our mission led us to encompass the exterior of the NYSE building. Our focus shifted to scanning and meticulously documenting the basement level, stairs, and the exterior at the main entry. Existing Conditions documented these areas of the building on September 8th, 2021, and the final deliverable was sent on October 25, 2021.
Exterior elevation of the NYSE
Phase IV: Main Trading Floor and Buttonwood
In Phase IV, Existing Conditions took immense pride in being selected to scan the iconic area of the Main Trading Floor, known to people worldwide, as well as Buttonwood. This project continued to be an exciting endeavor for Existing Conditions, as it allowed us to work within a space that holds global recognition. The Main Trading Floor of the NYSE is a place familiar to virtually everyone, and becoming a part of its documentation was highly satisfying.
On-site image utilizing the Leica RTC360 to document the Main Trading Room Floor
The iconic Main Trading Floor, with its soaring ceilings and dynamic history, demanded the utmost precision and accuracy. Collaborating with the project management team at the NYSE and Perkins + Will, Existing Conditions undertook the task of meticulously documenting this space. The trust placed in Existing Conditions to document this globally renowned location was a testament to our capabilities and expertise.
An interior view of laser scan data from the Main Trading Room Floor’s catwalk ceiling
Phases VI and VII: “Filling in the Blanks”
In Phase VI and VII, Existing Conditions shifted focus toward what can aptly be referred to as "filling in the blanks." As mentioned, Existing Conditions had already tackled the exterior shell, the iconic Main Trading Room Floor, the Bell Balcony, and the formal spaces surrounding the Boardroom, including the Boardroom itself. With these integral parts already documented, it became evident to the building owners that it made perfect sense to engage Existing Conditions in the task of completing the model by filling in the remaining floors, levels B and B2. This comprehensive model would serve them well for future renovation, facility management, space planning, and a multitude of purposes.
The decision to retain the same professional team that had been involved from the project's inception was a logical one. Existing Conditions had consistently delivered high-quality documentation for various clients, and ensuring continuity was essential to fulfill the original goal of capturing the entire space comprehensively. This phase was marked by our commitment to precision and the stitching together of various data points to maintain a cohesive model of the NYSE building.
B2 level MEP plan
How This Project Was Unique
The NYSE project was uniquely challenging, with rigorous security measures and a need for high-quality work that integrated with the exchange's operations. Existing Conditions meticulously followed NYSE regulations and security requirements, delivering superior data while allowing the exchange to continue its essential operations. Existing Conditions' strategic approach, "You don't need to do everything all at once, but let's get started," allowed us to break down the project into manageable phases, showcasing our adaptability to unique project needs.
Laser scan data with building information model overlay
In the words of Kurt Yeghian, Founder & CEO of Existing Conditions: “My favorite space in that building was the boardroom of the NYSE. It was just an experience that I never thought I'd be able to have, to be in that space and then providing that data to our clients who are going to use that for a major renovation of the building.”
The owner's project management team initially sought Existing Conditions' assistance in documenting the NYSE’s executive levels, a project that presented unique challenges due to the intricate nature of the rooms. Many rooms required comprehensive interior drawings and reflected ceiling plans to capture their complexity accurately.
7th floor reflected ceiling plan
The distinct challenge in this project was the demand for urgency and precision. Existing Conditions was informed that traditional survey methods or in-house architect efforts couldn't match our speed and accuracy. Given the NYSE's historical and architectural significance, exceptional precision was imperative. The stringent security protocols of the NYSE, as the global financial hub, added an extra layer of complexity to our task.
Existing Conditions collaborated with the NYSE in their pursuit of a fresh start for their organization and the spaces they use most frequently. Our work provided them with the drawings required for their restoration efforts, enabling them to reimagine and rejuvenate their iconic spaces.
Laser scan data with building information model overlay
To overcome the unique challenge posed by the NYSE's high security and continuous operations, Existing Conditions implemented a dynamic work schedule, conducting our operations during nighttime hours. This approach allowed Existing Conditions to capture the necessary data without interrupting the NYSE's daily activities, starting with the active stock exchange and expanding to multiple levels of the NYSE. This adaptability demonstrated Existing Conditions' commitment to meeting our clients' needs while accommodating the unique demands of the NYSE's environment.
Where Does This Project Stand Now?
As we approach the next phase of the NYSE project, Existing Conditions' dedication to this iconic building on Wall Street remains resolute. The upcoming focus on the eighth floor, one of the last portions awaiting transformation, underscores the enduring partnership that drives this project. Our pride in this venture is matched by the trust of our esteemed collaborators, including STUDIOS Architects, Clay Form Architects, Gardner and Theobald, Perkins + Will, and the NYSE itself. Each project phase has consistently exceeded expectations, highlighting the value our partners find in our work and emphasizing the enduring power of teamwork in shaping the remarkable phases that lie ahead.
Start accurate and stay accurate with Existing Conditions. Whether you're planning a renovation or simply require accurate documentation, our experienced team is here to help. Contact us today and explore our portfolio of successful projects. Let us be your eyes in the field so you can devote your time to what you do best.
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