Asymptote Architecture New York Stock Exchange project records

Asymptote Architecture New York Stock Exchange project records

Part of


  • Asymptote (Firm) (archive creator)
  • Asymptote (Firm) (architectural firm)
  • New York Stock Exchange (client)
  • Lise Anne Couture (architect)
  • Hani Rashid (architect)
  • Florian Baier (assistant architect)
  • Carlos Ballestri (assistant architect)
  • Phillipe Barman (assistant architect)
  • Remo Burkhard (assistant architect)
  • Gemma Koppen (assistant architect)
  • Jan Loeken (assistant architect)
  • Sabine Muller (assistant architect)
  • Takeshi Okada (assistant architect)
  • Florian Pfeifer (assistant architect)
  • David Serero (assistant architect)
  • Suzanne Song (assistant architect)
  • Tobias Wallisser (assistant architect)
  • Securities Industry Automation Corporation (consultant)
  • RT-Set (software developer)


Asymptote Architecture New York Stock Exchange project records

Dates of creation



  • archives

Level of archival description


Extent and Medium

  • approximately 50,600 digital files (73.2 GB)
  • 71 drawings
  • 43 optical discs (CD-Rs)
  • 32 folders of textual material (0.5 l.m.)
  • 1 VHS tape
  • 1 oversized photograph

Scope and Content

The Asymptote Architecture New York Stock Exchange project records, 1990 - 2009, document the firm’s work on three major projects for the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), in collaboration with the Securities Industry Automation Corporation (SIAC): the Three Dimensional Trading Floor (3DTF), MarkeTrac/OrderTrac, and the Advanced Trading Floor Operations Center. The majority of the records date from 1998 to 2004.

This archive includes textual, born-digital, audiovisual and over-sized materials. There are approximately 0.5 l.m. of textual materials, 65 drawings, an oversized photograph, and a VHS tape. The born-digital component consists of approximately 50,600 digital files (73.2 GB). The records, which are arranged into three series, chiefly document major projects at the NYSE:

Series 1, Three Dimensional Trading Floor, bulk 1998-2000, was a virtualized NYSE Trading Floor created to visualize real-time numerical and statistical data. Digital files related to 3DTF primarily include still raster images and video demonstrating 3DTF functionality. There is also a small body of CAD material in Maya, Alias, Microstation, and Form-Z formats. Other digital materials include Virtual Reality Markup Language (VRML) files, HTML files, Silicon Graphics Images databases, research material, press kits, presentations, and handout files. The textual records are largely handouts from presentation meetings for each phase of the project; these have substantial overlap with the digital records. There is also one VHS tape which compiles nearly twenty minutes of animated renderings.

Series 2, MarkeTrac and OrderTrac, bulk 2000-2001, brought 3DTF to the web. MarkeTrac allowed users to monitor data from a personal computer and OrderTrac allowed users to trade stocks online. Digital files are chiefly raster images of renderings and video, including presentation handouts; there is also a significant amount of CAD material in Maya. Again, the textual records are largely handouts for presentation meetings. Other unrealized projects related to 3DTF and data visualization were conceptualized during this time, and are chiefly documented in the textual records for this series.

Finally, Series 3, Advanced Trading Floor Operations Center, bulk 1998-2004, combined two projects in the built environment: the Command Center and the Executive Ramp. Together, these projects involved the construction of a ramp from the the Main Room to the Blue Room of the New York Stock Exchange, and later, the installation of 3DTF on a series of monitors. The textual records for this series include correspondence and photographs. Digital files for the Advanced Trading Floor primarily include handouts for presentation meetings; there is also a small body of press material and photographs of the NYSE. There are also oversized materials, chiefly plans, which document the design and construction of the Command Center.

Reference Number


Physical Description

This fonds contains a number of born-digital files in CAD and 3D modeling formats. Due to the complex and often proprietary nature of CAD formats, proper rendering and use of these files may require highly specific software. CCA’s dedicated Study Room CAD workstation is loaded with a wide but incomplete range of such software. For further information about services and software available for interacting with obsolete or niche file formats, please contact Collection Reference (ref@cca.qc.ca) and ask to speak with the Digital Archivist. Across the collection there are a number of unidentified file types. This includes a number of unplayable .mov and .movie files which appear to be Apple QuickTime files; it is unclear how to access their content. A number of files with the file extension .pic (or similar) have an unknown format and can typically be opened with FCheck, an image viewer packaged with AutoCAD. FCheck can also open Silicon Graphics image files with some success. There are also a small number of corrupted files across the records which cannot be successfully opened. More information about all of these files is available in the file-level description.


This fonds is arranged into three series based on major projects:

1. Three Dimensional Trading Floor

2. MarkeTrac and OrderTrac

3. Advanced Trading Floor Operations Center.

Within each series, files are grouped by format (i.e. textual, oversized, digital), and then roughly arranged in chronological order. There is likely some overlap between series, as these projects were closely related and often were worked on in tandem.

Administrative history

Asymptote Architecture was founded in 1989 in New York City by Lise Anne Couture and Hani Rashid. The firm has worked in diverse fields, including building designs, master planning projects, art installations, virtual reality environments, interiors, and industrial design.

Completed projects include the Univers Theaters in Aarhus Denmark (1998); the HydraPier cultural pavilion in the Netherlands (2004); Alessi HQ (2004-2012); Carlos Miele flagship store in New York City (2006); 166 Perry condominiums (2008); the Yas Viceroy Hotel in Abu Dhabi (2010); ARC Multimedia Theater in Daegu South Korea (2013); Missoni Baia (2017); and the Ghent Diamond (2018). Key unbuilt projects include an award winning design for a luxury condominium tower (StrataTower) in Abu Dhabi; an Eco-Cultural Master Plan for Baku, Azerbaijan; commercial office towers in Budapest, Hungary; and the World Business Center Solomon Tower in Busan, South Korea.

Asymptote Architecture has received many awards, including the American Institute of Architects’ New York chapter award (2002, 2005, 2007), the Frederic Keisler Prize (2004), and le Grand Prix de l’Architecture (2010). Their work is included in a number of collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam, the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Frac Centre in Orléans, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.

Conditions governing access

  • Digital material can only be accessed on-site. Please contact Reference at ref@cca.qc.ca for more information. Access by appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction

  • For copyright information or permission to reproduce material from the fonds, please contact the CCA (reproductions@cca.qc.ca). As per the agreement with the donor, all reproductions intended for publication must be approved by Asymptote Architecture.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

  • Gift of Asymptote, 14 November 2014.

Custodial history

These records were stored at Asymptote Architecture’s office in New York prior to their transfer to CCA. Many of the digital files were copied from Asymptote’s servers onto an external hard drive and then sent to CCA. Other files arrived at CCA on CD-Rs that had been stored at the office. These records were acquired by CCA as part of the Archaeology of the Digital project. Selected items were displayed in the show Archaeology of the Digital: Media and Machines, May-October 2014.

Archivist's note

  • A single-level record for this archive was created by Digital Archivist Tessa Walsh in July 2016. Processing and description was started by Tessa Walsh in Fall 2017 and completed by Digital Processing Archivist Stefana Breitwieser in February 2018.

Credit line

When citing the collection as a whole, use the citation:
Asymptote Architecture New York Stock Exchange project records,
Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal.
When citing specific collection material, please refer to the object’s specific credit line.

Language of material


Related units of description

  • DR1999:0004:001-004: Iscapes 1.0: Multiple: digital video cassette in digital video recorder/player (from Frederieke Taylor Gallery, NY). Couture, Lise Anne, and Hani Rashid. Flux. (Phaidon, 2002). Couture, Lise Anne, and Hani Rashid. “Scape : Asymptote Architecture.“ Design Document Series, 9. (Seoul: Suh Kyong won, 2004). Lynn, Greg and Hani Rashid. “Architectural Laboratories.” NAi Publishers, 2002. Rashid, Hani. “Architecture=Space=Interface.” Designing for a Digital World, ed. Neil Leach. (West Sussex: Wiley Academy, 2002).

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