XTX Markets is a pioneer within the FinTech sector, leading the way as an award-winning electronic market-maker since they were established in 2015. The firm has experienced consistent growth and to help maintain their current trajectory, XTX took 22,000 sq. ft. in the R7 in King’s Cross, in the heart of London’s tech hub.
The office needed to mirror the methodical and strategic business practices of XTX, while representing a truly inspiring workplace. XTX are looking to attract people who are within the top 0.1% of candidates, with options to work for companies such as Google, Facebook and other leading tech giants. The office environment had to offer a balanced, inspirational working environment that would attract and retain the best talent available in the industry and mirror the firm’s innovation in technology.
The design focus for the office was to create a physical representation of what the firm is about; their people and their core values. The company’s core values of transparency, fairness, collaboration & excellence – combined with a focus on consistent liquidity – are displayed visually throughout the space and complement a workspace which is inspired by sci-fi, mathematics and algorithms. Every element of the office design has been individually considered and combines futuristic space elements with high-end residential finishes to foster an intriguing, one of a kind working environment.
Achieving a design as original as this space requires an in-depth understanding of the client and an ability to look beyond the brief to see what it is they are trying to create. The design process behind the XTX office lasted nearly two years and revolved around delivering a final design which would provide XTX with an environment that was distinctly theirs, entirely bespoke and give them with a platform to continue their growth and development.
We wanted this office environment to challenge the minds of XTX staff and create a space which would match the inquisitive nature of the business and its people. We were inspired by many concepts and ideas, but the most prominent influences include sci-fi, mathematics, Steampunk and other industrial elements which have been pulled from the surrounding area of King’s Cross.
Our project partnerships needed to address a high-level of precision as well as adopt an entirely bespoke approach. We partnered with some of the most inspiring minds to deliver interactive art installations throughout the office, which create moments of intrigue and levels of detail which you only notice when you understand its greater importance. Jason Bruges Studio, Acrylicize and Andrew Martin played a pivotal role in delivering the incredible features in the office
The pentagonal tiling on the wall featuring the digital clock is made up of over 4,000 pentagons, 17,000 individual lines and 2,886,794 mm of engraving.
Inspired by the company’s love for programming and mathematics, the art installation wall in the Portal is an algorithmic study in itself. The design is based on the 15th monohedral tiling convex pentagon, which is the final solution to a mathematical problem devised by Reinhardt in 1918. For the first time, this pattern has been animated as a cellular automata, and the system uses the same rule base as John Conway’s 'Game of Life', but operates over the five faces of the pentagon. This has never been achieved before, and is inspired by the firm’s highly methodical approach and importance of code and algorithms in their day to day business. The wall of light is designed to challenge the minds of the people who can understand it, and visually captivate the minds of those who don’t.
Jason Bruges Studio provided their innovative design and technology skills to conceptually develop and deliver the bespoke installations in both the Experience Tunnel and in the Portal. These unique, interactive art pieces go beyond simple aesthetics. They required over 35,000 LEDs to transform these parts of the office into memorable, experiential moments. As you move through the Portal, you arrive in the Experience Tunnel, which again looks like something you would expect to find on the set of a sci-fi movie. As you move through the tunnel, thousands of bespoke individual sensor and light units detect your movement and illuminate to capture your silhouette in lights, making the transition through the office space an engaging experience.
Consistent liquidity, a staple of XTX’s business, is represented by the water fountain which flows through the spiral staircase and leads onto the trading floor. Acrylicize create bespoke art installations which take a concept and transform it into a physical representation. Their fountain, which flows between the 8th and 9th floor, uses a combination of blue light and water to showcase XTX’s provision of liquidity, and continues through the experience tunnel and onto the trading floor. Acrylicize took this value and made it into a statement which XTX could proudly showcase in the heart of their office space.
The Hoberman chandelier, created by Acrylicize, challenges the traditional functions of a light fitting and transformed it into a mechanical ‘breathing’ light fitting. This is part of the concept to challenge your mind and introduce those intriguing moments into the space. The chandelier expands and contracts independently, so that it changes its appearance depending on what moment you pass it.
The Hoberman chandelier is constructed from 52 3D printed copper joints, 288 laser cut blackened steel arms, 576 copper plated screws and 1728 nylon washers.
Focusing on creating a collaborative, community environment was a theme at the centre of the two-year development process to ensure that staff were engaged in creating an office that would be a space they wanted to be in, and that they would enjoy working from. The XTX office is a special, unique working environment that mirrors their people and provides them with an environment that fully supports the business, promotes wellbeing and enhances staff productivity.
Their new working environment has inspired a change in the way their staff work together and has encouraged greater collaboration through their diverse choice of inspiring spaces, relaxing areas and communal zones. Each space has its own distinctive atmosphere and as you move through the office, each space flows naturally into the next. The diverse selection of furniture was provided by Andrew Martin, a leading global interior designer. Their furniture is inspired by an assortment of influences from different cultures and adds to the interest in exploration and discovery at XTX. The mixture of furniture offers staff a variety of spaces to collaborate in and relax away from the desk.
The office design needed to be comfortable and homely and the furniture selection helps to inspire those emotions of feeling comfortable and relaxed as if you were in your own home, café or bar. This sense of balance was important as it gives staff a variety of workspaces to choose from, in an environment that is infinitely prepared to accommodate whatever their people need.
When you are designing an office for a science fiction loving FinTech company, it would be difficult not to include a full replica of the Apollo 11 landing capsule. The landing capsule is inspired by the Co-CEO’s love of sci-fi and space exploration, but it isn’t a gimmick. The Apollo 11 capsule importantly serves a purpose beyond its design value and gives staff extra space to use as a meeting pod, play games consoles or relax with a film.
Andrew Martin provided the concepts and brought the replica Apollo 11 space capsule to life. The Apollo 11 capsule sits proudly in the corner of the breakout space and provides XTX staff with a unique meeting and relaxation space. Andrew Martin used their in-depth knowledge of XTX to inspire their office design with relevant artwork, interesting finishes and a diverse range of furniture to create an innovative and inquisitive environment that represents XTX and their culture.
We took this concept, applied the working behaviours of their staff and formulated a design that would benefit staff wellbeing and productivity as well as inspire them. Naturally, we wanted to provide breakout spaces which meant staff could step away from their desks and relax, so bespoke pool and table tennis tables occupy the 9th floor breakout area, alongside arcade game machines.
The XTX staff are provided with everything they need to enable them to execute their work, consistently, at the highest level. We added in four sleep pods with full-sized mattresses, headphones, TV’s and electric blinds to offer staff a place of respite and escape for when they need to recharge and refresh themselves. Cold and hot drinks are provided all day alongside fully stocked fridges of food along with snacks and fresh fruit to ensure they can maximise their breaks away from the desk and enjoy healthy refreshments during the day. Once the working day is over, the 9th floor breakout seemingly transforms into a bar as the BrewDog beer tap helps to make the space into a fun social space where staff can relax with a beer and play pool.
Following the office design and fit out of XTX’s innovative new workspace, our office maintenance team was awarded maintenance contracts to ensure their state of the art building services continued to operate smoothly and efficiently.
The result of the XTX Markets office is a working environment that fully embraces what it means to be a part of the company and primarily focuses on ensuring that their people are working in a balanced environment. The office design is a challenging yet inviting and airy space which captures your imagination and makes you question things beyond their immediate face value. We have created a fun, intelligent workspace which is synchronised with XTX and their talented people who are so integral to their success.
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