Intercontinental Exchange Customer Case Study

We sought balance, using the
strong foundation of wood planes and
shapes in space and combining them
with icy, cool, modern tech pieces,
architecture and materiality.

Details shine with Credentials Casegoods, Edition Swivel Seating, and Savor Guest Seating.

​Location: ATLANTA, GA

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As the new owner of the venerable New York Stock Exchange, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) knew the renovation of its Atlanta headquarters needed to make a distinct impact. Intercontinental Exchange, the leading network of regulated exchanges and clearing houses for financial and commodity markets, delivers transparent, reliable and accessible data, technology and risk management services to markets around the world through its portfolio of exchanges.

The project to date, led by Atlanta design firm Heery International, has encompassed eight of the 14 floors in ICE’s “vertical campus” and has some very specific design considerations.

“It was important for ICE’s leadership to have a design that reflected both the innovation of ICE and the strength and tradition of NYSE,” explains architect Steve Hart, vice present at Heery International. “But ultimately they wanted the workspace to reflect the transparency and efficiency that has defined ICE’s approach to global financial markets."

By combining such elements as rich wood finishes, providing a nod to tradition, with cool colors and such reflective finishes as chrome and glass to represent the company’s acronym, ICE, the overall aesthetic reinforces the notion of a strong company with deep roots in traditional finance, yet a progressive one that is fluid, transformative and ever-evolving.

“We sought balance, using the strong foundation of wood planes and shapes in space and combining them with icy, cool, modern tech pieces, architecture and materiality,” Hart says, adding that this theme carries throughout the facility, including various tiers of private office space. The firm needed to furnish 126 regular private offices and 10 executive offices.

“The offices provide a modest level of privacy for management, while supporting both heads-down, focused work and face-to-face interactions with staff, a trend we see some companies moving back toward in the workplace,” notes Karen McCallum, senior interior designer at Heery. “The offices have glass fronts and sliding wood doors, further bolstering the modern-meets-traditional aesthetic. We needed casegoods to complement both the wood and the glass.”

McCallum says she began the search for the perfect casegoods to accompany these private spaces as soon as the overall design scheme fell into place. The client challenged the Heery team to find an office system that played well with loose mid-century modern furnishings, selected by ICE’s CEO, throughout the space.

She saw a brochure for Gunlocke’s Credentials wood casegoods collection, first introduced to the market in 2013. McCallum immediately knew Credentials could be a perfect fit for ICE’s Atlanta headquarters and proceeded to include it in one of the three office layout mockups she provided, with the additional mockups showcasing two other manufacturers with similar products. Company management sat down and “kicked the tires” of each featured line before making a decision.

“Credentials’ details shone brightly against the other options,” McCallum says. “The lines in all of the pieces are clean and simple. It provided icy elements with the back-painted glass in its overheads, while the walnut wood finish matched perfectly to the overall office design. It makes a strong statement and blends well.”

This form translates into a functional user experience – one that truly is the sum of its details – offering discreet, yet crucial, elements that make office life easy and effective: Leather and stone inlay options for work surfaces; solid-surface accents; magnetic wood tack zones; back-painted translucent, writeable painted glass; meticulously engineered hardware, including bottom-mount suspensions and soft-close mechanisms on drawers and cabinets; ample storage with 19-inch overhead compartments; well-planned technology integration and wire management; durable, low-sheen, open-pore finish; meaningful, coordinated accessories; and an effortless, sit-to-stand interface with extension tops that rise up to 42 inches. The details helped Gunlocke and Credentials win the spec, Hart notes.

“Quality was the differentiator,” he says. “And such details and the collection’s architectural feel translated well into all tiers of the private office space.”

The inhabitant of one office even requested a sit-to-stand desk, an option available in Gunlocke’s Credentials collection.

“It’s so well integrated you can’t tell the difference between a desk that has this option and one that doesn’t,” McCallum says. “This particular user does keep it up in stand position most of the time, and when you walk past and see it up, the desk still looks beautiful. The lines remain clean and simple. Credentials truly delivers a traditional feel that remains modern. It’s almost like it was made for the project.”


A “less-is-more” philosophy drives Credentials’ timeless, yet modern, design. It is based on large, planar elements that align to create spatial layers both vertically and horizontally. Surfaces are stripped of visual clutter, resulting in a clean aesthetic with minimal seams and visual breaks. Stylish slab and cube base options, cantilevered and floating work surfaces, and high-end, natural veneers with continuous waterfall wood grain are just some of the features that combine to form an attractive, architecturally-inspired centerpiece for any private office.