The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) has invested significantly in its core infrastructure and partnered with national architecture practice, Bates Smart, to create a new centre for Australia’s financial markets.
However, moving a large part of an organisation used to the high-end CBD environment to the data centre in Artarmon was a challenge. Bates Smart combined the best the world has to offer in technology and workplace design, with a stylish and comfortable environment to design a world-class facility.
Bates Smart Project Leader Kellie Payne said, “We wanted to create a building that says when you’re working here, you’re at the centre of the financial world.”
Almost 70 per cent of the activity in the multi-trillion dollar Australian equity and futures markets originates from electronic gateways in this building. The centre delivers the highest service and availability standards, with 24- hour, real-time services and communications. ASX has brought together its operations, surveillance and technology support teams into a single location with the focus on improving service delivery to customers.
The work environment is split into two contrasting spaces. Within the office is the tech space with a data wall, which acts as a command centre.
“All data and information is at their fingertips, which means the staff can work more quickly and effectively than ever before,” Ms. Payne said.
Bates Smart worked with a technology consultant to design the data wall in line with the high productivity working practices of the sector.
“Staff can move information from any screen including their mobility devices directly onto the data wall with a flick of their hand and begin working on it straight away. This kind of functionality, while like something out of a movie for many of us, fits perfectly with the way this sector works,” Ms. Payne said.
In contrast to the tech space, the other part of the office is a verandah-style hospitality and breakout area. The light-coloured timbers and white stone surfaces give a very natural and casual ambience. The high quality finishes echo a top five star café space to ensure staff don‘t feel they are missing out on the CBD café culture.
Bates Smart Studio Director Brenton Smith said, “We designed the space to be an antidote to the high-focus atmosphere of the tech area. When you walk into the breakout space there‘s a real sense of relaxation. We‘ve also made it feel like you‘re standing outside.”
Bates Smart also worked closely with the ASX to create a workplace environment that reflects a new way of working for staff. The desks radiate outwards from a central hub where the people that work together most, sit together to ensure fast response times and increased collaboration.
ASX’s Customer Experience General Manager Eloise Wett said, “Bates Smart took a significant amount of time to ensure they understood ASX’s objectives with this project. In particular, understanding the new and changed way we wanted to work together as a team, with a focus on improving service delivery to our customers. The new work environment has created an integrated, collaborative space that is helping support ASX‘s new customer-driven culture.”
“It was really important for us to understand the DNA of our clients — IT people get that there is an edge to them that makes them unique. They know who they are and how they work. Our job is to express and celebrate that in our design of their workplace,” Mr. Smith said.
The world of finance is heavily driven by technology, glad to hear that Australia it not standing behind, don’t you agree?