Over the next five weeks 450 employees from Sony BMG will move into their new offices in Derry Street, London W8, created by interior design consultancy and architect Morey Smith.
The two floors of the Grade II-listed Art Deco building have been designed to be open plan, and divisions on the 4200m2 floors have been created between the company’s different labels using white boards, pin boards and storage units.
The office will house Sony BMG’s main record labels, which include RCA Records, Columbia Records and Epic, and will also contain the executive group for Sony in the UK, the creative hub that is responsible for Sony BMG’s visuals, alongside the legal, human resources and marketing departments.
One of the challenges, according to Morey Smith director Jennifer Wood, was making sure that the different departments and labels had their own feel in their own sections, while maintaining the uniformity of the building.
‘We have designed the office so wherever people are in the building, they will have access to natural light through glass in the doors and panels,’ she says.
The same desking runs throughout the building, but the furniture colours change in the different sections. Inside, it is possible to walk in a full circle all the way through the building – the aim being to allow employees to feel they are within easy reach of each other, says Wood.
The overall colour scheme is neutral, with colour added to differentiate areas and departments. The office floors are on the outer edge of the 8400m2 building, and at its centre is a double-height café with a pale-blue and yellow colour scheme and a Barrisol ceiling system.
Wood adds, ‘The building’s two staircases are placed either side of the central space, ensuring that the atrium remains the focal point of the building.’ The reception is decorated in red, with leather furniture and reclaimed timber flooring. Other design features in the building, which used to house department store Derry & Toms, include lofty ceilings with exposed surfaces and pipes.
‘In the inner ring of the building are the meeting rooms, some of which have been designed to look like offices, while others have large meeting tables or are more relaxed with sofas. All have been adapted to be able to house bespoke hi-fi equipment,’ says Wood.
Morey Smith was appointed to design the offices in late 2005, according to Wood, by the then Sony UK chairman Rob Stringer. The consultancy had previously worked on Sony BMG’s Putney offices.
The project employed much of Morey Smith’s internal resources. Principal director Linda MoreySmith, creative director Andrew McCann, director Graeme Montague and designers George Kahler and Sophie Fiddling were among those overseeing the project.
SONY BMG Offices
• Grade II-listed, Art Deco building
• Housing the Columbia, RCA and Epic record labels
• Located in Derry Street, London W8
• 450 employees across 4200m2 of office space