© Lawrence Anderson
Universal Music Publishing Group reception area The reception desk at Universal Music Publishing Group. A band performing in the lounge at Universal Music Publishing Group. Universal Music Publishing Group's office interior. A band performing in the atrium at Universal Music Publishing Group. A conference space at Universal Music Publishing Group. A workspace interior at Universal Music Publishing Group.
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Universal Music Publishing Group

Santa Monica, California

More than an office space, Universal Music Publishing Group’s headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif. celebrates the art of songwriting in an amenity-rich space that offers a unique experience each day and embraces new ways of working. Performance spaces and display galleries, both high-tech and high-touch, highlight the company’s rich musical history and showcase its ever-growing roster of new artists. The reception features a transparent glass wall imbedded with LED lights that dynamically display music, images, and scrolling lyrics and offer intermittent views of the two-story atrium beyond.

At the heart and soul of UMPG’s new home is a light-filled atrium that doubles as a performance and gathering area, where impromptu concerts are performed by Grammy winners and administrative staff alike. To bring a sense of nature into the space, a ficus tree was transported from the California countryside, adding a calming element. The building’s exterior finishes, metal siding, and concrete are also extended inward to reinforce a connection to the outdoors. Oversized industrial doors swing outward for a seamless transition onto patios and upper floor terraces, providing workers and visitors with access to the sounds and breeze from the Pacific Ocean. The new workplace prioritizes supporting health and wellness in an environment that is filled with natural light, ventilation, biophilia, and elements that promote work/life balance.

UMPG took a leap and downsized its former space, which occupied over 80,000 square feet, to its new workplace which spans 20,000 square feet — this savings in space created the opportunity for elevated materials and new amenities. The change signifies the music company’s commitment to providing flexibility by allowing its creative workforce to work where and how they like, whether in an office, outdoors, or at home. The new workplace is filled with lounges, cafes, reconfigurable conference rooms, and zoom rooms to offer a sense of choice for a mobile workforce. While private offices remain, they are properly downsized and pulled away from the perimeter windows to provide more access to light and air for everyone.