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

London’s new music scene has changed its tune in the earlier decade, with the action shifting east to King’s Cross. This remaining Sony Tunes Uk in a tough spot while the corporation normally loved the Kensington office environment that MoreySmith experienced created for it back again in 2008 (and then afterwards refreshed in 2018), it eventually understood that it wanted to get started scheduling for a relocation. “If they could have picked up their original business office and moved it, that would have been their great resolution,” says Linda Morey-Burrows, the principal director at MoreySmith. But as the pandemic ushered in new doing the job designs, her firm’s design for Sony Songs UK’s new King’s Cross headquarters progressed into an even even larger rethink.

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

Photo by Billy Bolton.

Like all the best sophomore albums, the end final result (which opened this year in a new developing at 2 Canal Get to) experiments with fresh ideas although building on the main charm of its predecessor. Everyone acquainted with Sony Songs UK’s aged digs will no question understand the new office’s cafeteria, which is a reimagining of a similar space that sat at the heart of the company’s previous area. “When you move properties, you really don’t want to fully start out again,” says Morey-Burrows. “You have to have a number of matters that you liked in the old property to be in the new a single. Or else it seems to be like you’ve misplaced your character along the way.”

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

Picture by Billy Bolton.

Photograph by Fiona Smallshaw.

Bigger improvements play out in the office’s workspace configuration, which was knowledgeable by staff interviews but also on-the-ground observations. “We hired a group to go to their existing office in Kensington and observe folks for 10 days, just to get insights into what they had been actually performing,” describes Shonagh Gardiner, a senior associate at MoreySmith. “Sometimes folks say that they are normally at a desk, but then you see that is not genuinely the case — they’re doing the job on imaginative points that take place additional collaboratively. Obtaining that knowledge authorized us to back up some new proposals. And then COVID transpired, and all people lost their desks in any case.”

Photograph by Billy Bolton.

In the close, working preparations were decided on a for every-label foundation, with some of Sony’s manufacturers — which include things like RCA, Ministry of Sound and Columbia — maintaining a just one-to-just one ratio of staff members to desks, and many others eager to embrace 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 overall solution to operating with the numerous divisions and departments that drop below the Sony Songs umbrella. “It was essentially one particular challenge with 25 shoppers,” suggests Gardiner. “And we seriously required to make certain that all of the groups felt represented in the new building.”

The layout organization decided to divide and conquer, assigning distinct staff members to different labels to ensure visual directions that mirrored their distinctive identities. As a consequence, Columbia’s zone is clad in grooved concrete, whilst RCA’s is outlined by an orange corrugated steel. “It’s just about like a department retailer, wherever you’re immediately knowledgeable that you are in a diverse brand’s region simply because of a distinctive visual working experience,” Gardiner states.

Picture by Billy Bolton.

Photo by Fiona Smallshaw.

The challenge then turned guaranteeing that these various zones continue to felt like section of a cohesive full. Without a doubt, even though the branding of every single space is unique, the in general style stays versatile adequate to assist upcoming changes if labels stop up growing or contracting. “Architecturally, they are all manufactured very in the same way. How they’re wrapped, dressed and lit, that is in which the dissimilarities 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.

Image by Hufton+Crow.

MoreySmith invested related electricity in acquiring approaches to bring personnel collectively during the workday. Sony Music UK’s outdated headquarters (which, funnily enough, was situated in a previous section retailer creating) was distribute throughout only two flooring, ensuring repeated prospect encounters. This new locale, spanning 6 flooring, necessary a more intentional circulation strategy to boost interconnectivity.

As a consequence, two outstanding staircases — one black, one particular pink — were inserted into the creating in vibrant, open spaces that make visual hyperlinks to places that staff might not or else move as a result of. A communal rooftop and live overall performance location are other preferred social hotspots, both for staff members and for guests.

Image by Billy Bolton.

Of program, Sony Tunes UK’s numerous labels also have a further significant element in prevalent: extraordinary acoustics. “Obviously, music is important,” claims Morey-Burrows. Yet attaining the sought after audio good quality needed some savvy style and design interventions. “The way the setting up was manufactured, there wasn’t any acoustic lining in the external wall. So we have been anxious that we had been heading to be spilling out loud audio into King’s Cross, wherever all of the properties are quite shut collectively,” Morey-Burrows describes.

To definitely make certain that the areas do Sony Music’s albums justice, MoreySmith partnered with acoustics advisor Sandy Brown and the A/V team at Combine. The staff included a secondary glazing to develop a comfy sonic buffer in between the building and its neighbours, and then wrapped several of the studios in their have committed acoustic enclosure. Soundproof pods introduce a different destination for personal listening.

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

Photo by Billy Bolton.

Image by Fiona Smallshaw.

To some degree unexpectedly, the final element of MoreySmith’s layout is a peaceful library area. “The café is a excellent place to do the job if you want to get absent from your possess department, but they adore getting songs actively playing pretty loud there,” Morey-Burrows explains. “And some men and women in our interviews claimed, though they love that area, they just just can’t do the job in it. So we wished to give them a tranquil spot that’s sort of a various vibe from the rest of the setting up.” Like a sensitive ballad in an album whole of bangers, the library reiterates the art of a perfectly-crafted combine.

Leave a Reply