Touring Sony Music UK’s New King’s Cross Office In London

London’s new music scene has improved its tune in the earlier decade, with the motion shifting east to King’s Cross. This still left Sony Audio British isles in a difficult location whilst the company if not liked the Kensington office environment that MoreySmith had developed for it back again in 2008 (and then afterwards refreshed in 2018), it sooner or later understood that it necessary to get started scheduling for a relocation. “If they could have picked up their initial place of work and moved it, that would have been their suitable solution,” says Linda Morey-Burrows, the principal director at MoreySmith. But as the pandemic ushered in new working versions, her firm’s design and style for Sony New music UK’s new King’s Cross headquarters evolved into an even even bigger rethink.

The communal cafeteria area at the new Sony Music UK headquarters in King's Cross designed by MoreySmith.

Image by Billy Bolton.

Like all the greatest sophomore albums, the conclusion outcome (which opened this yr in a new creating at 2 Canal Arrive at) experiments with clean thoughts while creating on the main attractiveness of its predecessor. Any person acquainted with Sony Songs UK’s outdated digs will no doubt identify the new office’s cafeteria, which is a reimagining of a equivalent house that sat at the heart of the company’s former location. “When you shift homes, you don’t want to absolutely commence once again,” claims Morey-Burrows. “You want a several matters that you loved in the aged dwelling to be in the new just one. Usually it appears like you have missing your individuality alongside the way.”

A social seating area at the new Sony Music UK headquarters in King's Cross designed by MoreySmith.

Picture by Billy Bolton.

Image by Fiona Smallshaw.

Even larger changes enjoy out in the office’s workspace configuration, which was informed by employees interviews but also on-the-floor observations. “We hired a staff to go to their existing workplace in Kensington and look at people today for 10 days, just to get insights into what they were basically doing,” explains Shonagh Gardiner, a senior associate at MoreySmith. “Sometimes people say that they are usually at a desk, but then you see which is not seriously the circumstance — they’re operating on innovative issues that transpire additional collaboratively. Getting that information allowed us to again up some new proposals. And then COVID occurred, and absolutely everyone misplaced their desks in any case.”

Photograph by Billy Bolton.

In the stop, working arrangements had been made the decision on a for every-label basis, with some of Sony’s makes — which contain RCA, Ministry of Sound and Columbia — maintaining a a person-to-1 ratio of staff members to desks, and other folks eager to embrace far more lounge-like environments with sofas and laptop tables. 

The reception area for Columbia Records with a grooved concrete wall at the new Sony Music UK headquarters in King's Cross designed by MoreySmith.

Picture by Billy Bolton.

This displays MoreySmith’s in general strategy to operating with the numerous divisions and departments that tumble beneath the Sony New music umbrella. “It was essentially one particular venture with 25 clients,” states Gardiner. “And we actually desired to make positive that all of the teams felt represented in the new creating.”

The style company decided to divide and conquer, assigning distinctive employees to diverse labels to make certain visible directions that mirrored their unique identities. As a final result, Columbia’s zone is clad in grooved concrete, whilst RCA’s is described by an orange corrugated metallic. “It’s practically like a section shop, wherever you are instantaneously knowledgeable that you are in a distinctive brand’s spot because of a distinct visual knowledge,” Gardiner claims.

Picture by Billy Bolton.

Picture by Fiona Smallshaw.

The problem then became making sure that these many zones continue to felt like portion of a cohesive entire. Certainly, though the branding of each individual room is unique, the in general structure remains flexible adequate to help upcoming adjustments if labels close up expanding or contracting. “Architecturally, they’re all created quite equally. How they’re wrapped, dressed and lit, which is where by the variations are — in the cladding or graphics,” claims Morey-Burrows.

A red staircase spanning multiple floors in an open atrium at the new Sony Music UK headquarters in King's Cross designed by MoreySmith.

Photo by Fiona Smallshaw.

Photo by Hufton+Crow.

MoreySmith invested similar vitality in building methods to deliver employees jointly during the workday. Sony Tunes UK’s previous headquarters (which, funnily adequate, was located in a former division shop building) was unfold across only two flooring, making certain frequent prospect encounters. This new site, spanning six flooring, needed a extra intentional circulation system to encourage interconnectivity.

As a result, two notable staircases — 1 black, one particular pink — were inserted into the creating in dazzling, open up areas that build visual hyperlinks to places that staff might not otherwise pass by. A communal rooftop and are living performance venue are other preferred social hotspots, both for workers and for website visitors.

Picture by Billy Bolton.

Of course, Sony New music UK’s several labels also have a different critical ingredient in common: incredible acoustics. “Obviously, songs is important,” says Morey-Burrows. But achieving the wished-for seem high-quality required some savvy style interventions. “The way the setting up was produced, there wasn’t any acoustic lining in the external wall. So we have been worried that we were likely to be spilling out loud music into King’s Cross, in which all of the buildings are rather close collectively,” Morey-Burrows clarifies.

To seriously guarantee that the areas do Sony Music’s albums justice, MoreySmith partnered with acoustics marketing consultant Sandy Brown and the A/V team at Mix. The workforce extra a secondary glazing to generate a comfy sonic buffer among the building and its neighbours, and then wrapped a lot of of the studios in their personal devoted acoustic enclosure. Soundproof pods introduce a further destination for personal listening.

A café area at the new Sony Music UK headquarters in King's Cross designed by MoreySmith.

Picture by Billy Bolton.

Photo by Fiona Smallshaw.

Relatively unexpectedly, the ultimate component of MoreySmith’s design and style is a quiet library spot. “The café is a excellent place to operate if you want to get absent from your personal section, but they appreciate acquiring tunes enjoying pretty loud there,” Morey-Burrows describes. “And some folks in our interviews mentioned, even though they really like that space, they just can not do the job in it. So we wished to give them a calm location that is kind of a various vibe from the rest of the building.” Like a delicate ballad in an album entire of bangers, the library reiterates the artwork of a very well-crafted blend.

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