Music Courtyards for Warner Music

Bean Buro was tasked with designing a 6,500sqft (610sqm) office in Beijing, China for Warner Music. The new workplace would be a complete transformation of the previous traditional office into a dynamic space in the central hub of the city. This new environment consists of holistic spatial compositions, telling the story of a cross cultural business that reflects on wellbeing and a strong identity to increase employee engagement.

Inspired from the rich history of traditional Chinese courtyard houses, “Siheyuan,” the approach to this project was to create a tranquil oasis in the heart of a growing business district of Beijing. Rooms in the office echoes the spaces within a Siheyuan, with the courtyard as the open office, the kitchen as the front of house, and the bedrooms as the support rooms for the office. This open plan environment was designed to create various dynamic zones for socializing, informal meetings, and collaborative space, accommodating the expanding 60 people workforce with hot desks easily accessible in each zone.

When entering, visitors are welcomed into the front of house which features a small stage and a spacious lounge. The flexibility of this space allows for occasions such as company events, impromptu artist performances, and DJ sets
— Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui, co-founder of Bean Buro

The artist room sits just before a frosted glass partition which separates the office from the front of house, primarily used as a vibrant lounge space for visiting artists. Many of the support rooms such as the semi enclosed pantry, small meeting room, server room, and storage room sit against the core to create a fresh and luminous atmosphere for the open office; while areas such as the CEO room, music room, and the conference room which will often be used for socialising and collaborating are situated and lined against the windows to maximize the light within. The CEO room in particular is designed with inclusiveness in mind as the walls transitions from solid wood panels to a gradient-frosted glass, creating a visual connection between the CEO and the rest of the office.

This project embraces a weaving material palette that incorporates a various use of materials such as timber, brushed copper highlights, and herringbone patterned timber vinyl, which are drawn from the textures of Siheyuen and traditional Chinese instruments. The predominate use of wood and exotic choices of materials bring the office warmth and life, while the use of concrete and green vinyl flooring define the areas in the office.
— Lorène Faure, co-founder of Bean Buro

The challenge in this project was maintaining a cohesive use of materials and elements of design while also drawing on the different atmospheres for different zones as experienced within a Siheyuan. Upon entering the office, visitors are greeted by the front of house encompassed by an energetic contrast of colors and bold copper accents. The main stage sits along the white Italian plastered wall, illuminated by the light filled environment from the windows. The volume of the artists room is accentuated by its high gloss finish of the light green back-painted glass, featuring the logo of Warner Music. The music room on the other hand is padded with square cork panels with painted charcoal zig-zags, mimicking the tiles on the roof in a Siheyuan. To bring together these energetic contrasts of colors and materials, the main timber wall, defined by rhythmic charcoal-painted slats, wraps the office physically like a ribbon. Recessed track lights highlight the main wall as it transitions from an entrance wardrobe, to a meeting room glass partition, and an art wall display.

Bean Buro Team:  Lorène Faure, Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui, Pauline Paradis, Stephanie Ma

Contractor: AID Ltd.

Project Manager: Amy Chiu

Client: Warner Music

Photograph: Shawn Koh\Feng Studios

Year: 2019


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