Bean Buro has created a 19,000sqft headquarters for Warner Music in Hong Kong. Inspired by the company’s rich music heritage, design palette incorporates classic materials, such as timber, natural leather, textile fabrics and brushed bronze finishes. The architectural surfaces are kept clean with subtle details, including metal trims and leather handles, complemented by a mixture of Asian and European furniture.
The design inhabits the top floor of an office building, with views across the bay to Hong Kong Island. The challenge was to maintain the openness of the space – maximising views, while creating a comfortable and inhabitable environment that would support both local artists and Warner Music staff by improving interactions across the company.
The approach was to create physical connections between the different departments through the installation of a full height timber poché wall that wraps around the central core, forming a continuous backdrop shared by everyone.
The timber element incorporates informal seating areas, display niches for musical instruments and vinyls, acoustically insulated phone booths, efficient concealed storages, and expands spatially to form a stage area and semi-enclosed rooms. Combining dark and light timber with metal and leather details, the architectural element defines the otherwise simple space, and houses a boardroom and two private offices that are partially visible through clear glass walls.
An open, cafe-like space forms the social hub of the office and acts as a welcoming area for guests and an informal workspace for staff. The stage area is elevated as a box volume, which contains a music room, artist room and executive office. Audiovisual equipment is incorporated into the design for performances and DJ sessions. Views out into the city are maintained, creating an open, light filled environment.
Custom designed furniture items enhance the space, and act as a subtle nod to the history of the music industry; wheeled storage units, inspired by touring suitcases, provide discreet storage for staff, the feature boardroom table is finished with a brushed brass surface, reflecting the materiality of brasswind instruments, while the recessed company logo in the entrance lobby is reminiscent of traditional leather instrument cases.
Integrated planters help to define the space for each department while maintaining daylight and views across the harbour. Areas in the office are also marked out by floor finishes. In the central café and performance space, epoxy flooring is intended to evoke the industrial history of the area while, in the workspaces, timber flooring gives a warm, domestic feeling.