Home > Living > Property & Interiors > Inside Job: Warner Music Hong Kong’s ‘music box’ workspace by Bean Buro
Inside Job: Warner Music Hong Kong’s ‘music box’ workspace by Bean Buro

The recording company has moved into a bigger and better office in Kowloon Bay.

As one of the “big three” recording companies in the world, Warner Music manages some of the top artists in the industry. In Hong Kong, the company’s roster includes the likes of Dear Jane, Janice Vidal, Jill Vidal and Fiona Sit. With multiple superstars under its care, it only makes sense that Warner Music occupies an office with the latest and most innovative acoustic working solutions.

To design its new headquarters in Hong Kong, the recording company has appointed Bean Buro, an emerging architecture and interiors practice with origins in London and Paris. This is not the first time the two have worked together — in fact, Bean Buro was in charge of Warner Music’s first Hong Kong office, back in 2016. Since then, the recording company has doubled in size, and with the growth, of course, comes new demands — hence the need for more space, and better space.

Well, Bean Buro delivered.

The backstory

In addition to designing Warner Music’s Hong Kong workspace not once, but twice, Bean Buro also brought to life the recording company’s Beijing office. Both of the previous projects were breakthroughs in transforming the traditional office into one encompassing multifunctional areas, semi-formal collaboration spaces and artist rooms with music sampling and demo performances.

This time around, with Hong Kong office #2, Bean Buro takes it further, with the goal to conceptualise and create an “evolved workplace” for an “advanced company”. The new space contains the previous editions’ DNA, with a multifunctional welcoming reception, a signature LED wall, a DJ booth and movable lounge furniture. And of course, with Warner Music’s strategic location overlooking Kai Tak in Kowloon Bay, a clear view of the city’s iconic skyline is a given.

The concept

What does Warner Music do best? Music, of course — it’s in the name. With this in mind, Bean Buro borrows from the idea of a music box as an energetic and sociable design for dynamic working. This music box would contain a multitude of spaces that includes everything that has already been mentioned in the old offices, plus a board room and game room with a pool table, separated by a movable glass partition wall that leads to a pantry and café booths.

The design

Stepping into the open lounge, the first thing you’ll see is a large-scale mural art wall adjacent to the LED wall, offering a vibrant backdrop for conversations. Created by local Japanese street artist TAXA, the site-specific artwork, in combination with the open ceiling, emphasises the post-industrial quality of Kowloon Bay.

The bulk of the music box volume is located in the centre of a U-shaped floor plate with two neighbourhoods on either end. Each neighbourhood contains collaboration spaces, small meeting rooms, café seating and phone booths. Meanwhile, the other side of the green volume is home to the main pantry with all the nuts and bolts integrated into the walls for convenience’s sake.

To celebrate the joy of music, Bean Buro has worked with a wide palette. Muted teal-colour timber slats make up the outer walls of the music box, and within, green terrazzo skirts the performing stage and boardroom entrances. A bespoke curvy carpet in bright orange lines the main social area, to “stimulate energy”, alongside the metallic dry pantry bar.

In most cases, using multiple colour schemes could easily be too much, but Bean Buro grounds the palette by adding mature tan leather seating throughout the music box to reinstate a high-end, luxurious atmosphere.

The acoustics

In a workplace of this nature where music is placed at the forefront, Bean Buro brought on an acoustic specialist to ensure all partitioning provides high-performance acoustic separation between different zones. 3D acoustic panels are installed on the walls in meeting areas and acoustic ceiling panels for enclosed meeting lounges.

In the recording studio, a bespoke curvy ceiling pane with undulating fabric helps scatter sound. And, to establish a comfortable space for artists to relax when they create their music, small LED bulbs create a starry effect and various indirect lighting. Finally, an inverted fluting detail covers the timber walls to scatter and absorb sound and reduce reverberation within the room.

Warner Music Hong Kong, 39/F, Manhattan Place, 23 Wang Tai Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong

(Lead and featured images courtesy of Bean Buro)

Take a closer look at more cool interiors here.

Charmaine Ng
Charmaine enjoys eating steamed broccoli and knocking back cups of spearmint tea, all in the name of health. Covering art, beauty and music :)
Sign up for our newsletters to have the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox every week.

Yes, I agree to the Privacy Policy

Never miss an update

Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest updates.

No Thanks
You’re all set

Thank you for your subscription.