Checking In: Bloomberg's New York Headquarters is an architectural expression of a 24-7 global market.

Bloomberg's New York headquarters gives passersby a dazzling peek inside the 24-7 financial-news machine.

In the main reception area, LED screens flash news, weather, sports, and market data, color-coded to reflect a hot or cold market--or even a glimpse of sun in San Francisco.

Bloomberg's ground-floor lobby is a study in robotic cool, a deliberate contrast to the sixth-floor reception area where visitors are thrust into the ebb and flow of a miniaturized urban "streetscape."

"We put edgy art around to encourage people to think differently," says CEO Lex Fenwick. Visitors to the sixth floor are met with a low-slung Cerith Wyn Evans chandelier that beams a text by left-wing Welsh critic Raymond Williams--in Morse code.

The sixth-floor "Link" is the company's answer to Times Square, with free food and fancy coffee as the bait to encourage collaboration. "The spontaneity created by this space is phenomenally productive," says chairman Peter Grauer.

In the first-floor lobby, visitors to this hypertech company are disarmed by a natural cedar installation by German artist Ursula von Rydingsvard. "We wanted it to smell like a farmhouse in Provence," says Fenwick. "And for people to think, 'What is this weirdness?'"

Nobody at Bloomberg has an office. The chairman and CEO sit at open desks, facing eponymous terminals just like the rank and file; managers sit in the middle of rows. "If my wife's screaming at me on the phone," says cofounder Tom Secunda, "everybody knows it."

Left: Spanish artist Inigo Manglano's titanium cloud sculpture is based on an actual thundercloud (digitally modeled at the University of Illinois) that can produce baseball-sized hailstones. If that's a market symbol, we're not sure we like it. Right: In another nod to transparency (and perhaps the financial food chain), every Bloomberg office contains fish tanks.

Bloomberg's 90 meeting rooms are all glassed-in, a reflection of the glasnost policy in place companywide. "The need to communicate and share information trumped every other decision," says STUDIOS Architecture's Todd DeGarmo.