Financial Services Technology Center – Downtown Brooklyn

When MetroTech Center was built in the 1990s as part of an ambitious urban renewal scheme for downtown Brooklyn, a large financial services company established a major presence at the new technology park. More than two decades later, Brooklyn has become not only a magnet for tech and entrepreneurial companies, but also an increasingly in-demand place to live for the millennial workforce. For this reason, the financial services company partnered with SOM to reimagine the existing cafeteria space of two existing buildings to serve a new generation of employees.

The project seeks to create a community hub within MetroTech Center, with a series of multipurpose collaboration and dining spaces that relate to the surrounding borough and celebrate its unique culture. The redesigned interiors include The Exchange, a new dining and social space open 24/7. Here, employees can find a variety of healthy meal options from a cashless grab-and-go kiosk, a food court featuring celebrity chefs, and a sushi bar.

The renovation project also seeks to encourage greater interaction and collaboration among MetroTech employees. It provides a range of alternative work settings, ranging from small, informal meeting areas, to larger spaces to host and entertain groups. A game room, a library, and a full-service gourmet coffee bar round out the range of amenity spaces, all interwoven to create a vibrant and cohesive campus experience.

The interior design celebrates the spirit of craftsmanship for which Brooklyn's creative community is known. Materials and finishes evoke an industrial aesthetic—blackened steel and wood furniture, 15-foot-high ceilings that reveal the steel structure, and exposed concrete floors. To maximize individual choice and comfort, seating options include stools and high-top tables, café chairs and tables, and lounge seating.