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

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

London’s songs scene has altered its tune in the previous decade, with the action shifting east to King’s Cross. This remaining Sony Songs British isles in a tough spot although the firm usually loved the Kensington office that MoreySmith experienced developed for it again in 2008 (and then later refreshed in 2018), it eventually understood that it required to start off setting up for a relocation. “If they could have picked up their initial workplace and moved it, that would have been their excellent resolution,” says Linda Morey-Burrows, the principal director at MoreySmith. But as the pandemic ushered in new operating types, her firm’s structure for Sony Audio UK’s new King’s Cross headquarters progressed into an 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 end result (which opened this yr in a new making at 2 Canal Attain) experiments with contemporary tips although setting up on the core attraction of its predecessor. Any one acquainted with Sony Music UK’s previous digs will no question realize the new office’s cafeteria, which is a reimagining of a similar room that sat at the coronary heart of the company’s former spot. “When you shift properties, you never want to totally start off again,” claims Morey-Burrows. “You need a few factors that you cherished in the aged home to be in the new one particular. Otherwise it appears to be like you’ve missing your individuality along the way.”

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

Photo by Billy Bolton.

Photo by Fiona Smallshaw.

Greater modifications participate in out in the office’s workspace configuration, which was informed by workers interviews but also on-the-ground observations. “We hired a team to go to their present business in Kensington and enjoy people today for 10 days, just to get insights into what they were being really doing,” describes Shonagh Gardiner, a senior affiliate at MoreySmith. “Sometimes folks say that they’re generally at a desk, but then you see that is not truly the case — they’re performing on artistic factors that occur a lot more collaboratively. Obtaining that info permitted us to again up some new proposals. And then COVID occurred, and all people lost their desks anyway.”

Photograph by Billy Bolton.

In the end, doing work arrangements have been made a decision on a for every-label foundation, with some of Sony’s makes — which include RCA, Ministry of Seem and Columbia — retaining a 1-to-one particular ratio of workers to desks, and other folks eager to embrace a lot more lounge-like environments with sofas and laptop computer 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.

Image by Billy Bolton.

This reflects MoreySmith’s all round technique to functioning with the many divisions and departments that tumble less than the Sony Tunes umbrella. “It was in essence a single project with 25 customers,” states Gardiner. “And we definitely preferred to make absolutely sure that all of the teams felt represented in the new setting up.”

The structure company resolved to divide and conquer, assigning distinct employees to various labels to ensure visual directions that reflected their distinctive identities. As a consequence, Columbia’s zone is clad in grooved concrete, whilst RCA’s is described by an orange corrugated metal. “It’s nearly like a section retailer, wherever you’re instantaneously knowledgeable that you are in a distinctive brand’s spot because of a distinctive visual working experience,” Gardiner suggests.

Image by Billy Bolton.

Photograph by Fiona Smallshaw.

The problem then turned making sure that these many zones however felt like element of a cohesive full. In truth, although the branding of each place is distinct, the over-all design and style stays adaptable more than enough to guidance long run changes if labels finish up growing or contracting. “Architecturally, they are all produced pretty likewise. How they are wrapped, dressed and lit, that’s wherever the variations are — in the cladding or graphics,” says 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 strength in building ways to carry employees alongside one another during the workday. Sony Songs UK’s aged headquarters (which, funnily plenty of, was positioned in a former office keep setting up) was distribute across only two floors, ensuring regular probability encounters. This new locale, spanning 6 flooring, required a additional intentional circulation technique to encourage interconnectivity.

As a consequence, two prominent staircases — 1 black, 1 pink — were inserted into the constructing in dazzling, open spaces that make visible backlinks to places that workforce may not in any other case move as a result of. A communal rooftop and live effectiveness venue are other preferred social hotspots, both for personnel and for people.

Picture by Billy Bolton.

Of program, Sony New music UK’s various labels also have one more significant factor in typical: remarkable acoustics. “Obviously, audio is vital,” states Morey-Burrows. Still achieving the wanted audio high-quality necessary some savvy layout interventions. “The way the developing was built, there was not any acoustic lining in the external wall. So we were fearful that we ended up heading to be spilling out loud new music into King’s Cross, wherever all of the buildings are fairly close jointly,” Morey-Burrows describes.

To seriously be certain that the areas do Sony Music’s albums justice, MoreySmith partnered with acoustics marketing consultant Sandy Brown and the A/V crew at Mix. The group additional a secondary glazing to develop a at ease sonic buffer between the setting up and its neighbours, and then wrapped numerous of the studios in their possess devoted acoustic enclosure. Soundproof pods introduce a further place for personal listening.

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

Photograph by Billy Bolton.

Photo by Fiona Smallshaw.

To some degree unexpectedly, the last part of MoreySmith’s design and style is a peaceful library region. “The café is a excellent place to function if you want to get away from your individual section, but they enjoy having new music enjoying very loud there,” Morey-Burrows clarifies. “And some men and women in our interviews explained, although they love that space, they just just can’t get the job done in it. So we needed to give them a tranquil spot that’s sort of a diverse vibe from the relaxation of the constructing.” Like a sensitive ballad in an album entire of bangers, the library reiterates the art of a effectively-crafted mix.