An inside look at NCR’s midtown HQ

Photo by Jon Long

The silhouette of the Atlanta skyline has once again been altered. NCR is finishing up construction on their new headquarters in Midtown Atlanta, on Spring St. just outside of Tech Square. In early January, the north tower of the campus opened and employees are already beginning to transition into the new space.

The rest of the campus, including another tower of work space, is scheduled to open by the end of the year.

Visitors to the campus walk into a cavernous lobby, ornamented with modern art and furniture. The entire space, including the Wired coffee shop, is open to the public and equipped with spaces for studying and working.

During the development of the building plans, designers kept in mind the intention of NCR to foster collaboration between the company, the Midtown community and, in particular, colleges such as Tech and Georgia
State University.

While giving a tour of the new campus, NCR representatives told news outlets that the whole campus was designed thoughtfully, with the purpose of creating a “Silicon Valley of the East.”

Andrea Ledford, chief administration officer and chief human resources officer of NCR, was particularly excited about the opportunity for NCR to keep graduates in-state and interact with Tech. Ledford also sits on the Tech Advisory Board.

“Over 50 percent of the graduates from the Georgia universities, and especially the technology graduates, leave the state after they graduate,” Ledford said during a media briefing following the tour of campus. “We want to build something that not only just attracts NCR employees, but attracts the talent, keeps the talent. That was the vision. We’re really excited about this.”

An additional space on the campus open to the community is a set of wood stairs that serve as an amphitheater and a future venue for what the company calls “Tech Talks”. The speaker series will feature local professionals, NCR employees and even Tech professors who will educate and talk with the public.

“While we have a really great campus for employees above the first floor, we really wanted it to be a destination that would be helpful to the neighborhood as well,” said Ledford.

The rest of the building, while not open to anyone off the street, is constructed with collaboration in mind. Floor-to-ceiling windows feature views of the entire Tech campus and shed light on large tables, standing and sitting desks, conference rooms and a variety of other spaces.

Each floor features large-scale artwork from a different muralist, and digital boards display artwork that is manipulated with a Google AI algorithm called “DeepDream.” There are plans to include artwork from Tech and Savannah College of Design students on these boards.

There is a variety of other amenities on campus that are designed to make life for employees as productive and enjoyable as possible. A two-story fitness center features spin, yoga and crossfit classes. A cafeteria opens onto the roof of the building and four restaurants. The campus also includes an IT bar and a health center.

When it comes to actually getting down to work, the campus utilizes a process called “hoteling,” which allows employees to decide where they want to work for the day: they can choose from collaborative booths, conference rooms, outdoor spaces, or any desk they would like. This method is becoming more and more popular around the country as work schedules grow more flexible and companies break away from the nine-to-five hours model.

“This is truly a partnership in reinvention,” said Marija Zivanovic-Smith, vice president of corporate communications and public affairs and chief of staff to the CEO of NCR. “A partnership in the reinvention of NCR, and a partnership in the reinvention of the city and the state. We could not be more proud to partner with this community.”