Los Angeles, California, USA
David Rockwell and Greg Keffer and their design team at Rockwell Group designed the interiors for Warner Music Group’s new headquarters in Los Angeles to celebrate the record company’s history, its vast catalog of work, music-making, and performance.
Warner Music Group (WMG), one of the world’s largest record companies, relocated seven of their record and publishing groups (Warner Records, Warner/Chappell, Atlantic, Elektra, ADA, WEA, and Rhino) to the landmark Ford Factory building, restored by Rockefeller Kempel Architects (Architect of Record), in the city’s burgeoning Arts District.
Built in 1913, Warner Music Group Headquarters was the first Ford Motor Company assembly plant in Los Angeles and Southern California. Located in what is now called the Arts District, the building was one of six identical Beaux-Arts style factories designed by John Parkinson and George Bergstrom.
The five-story “fireproof” steel-and-concrete tower was built to facilitate Henry Ford’s innovative vertical mass production technique.
The team set forth boldly to reimagine the deteriorated Beaux Arts style factory as new creative office and retail space for tenant Warner Music Group.
The outdated, rundown buildings were out of code, lacked security, had minimal parking, and no nearby amenities.
The exterior walls had been altered to protect the building from theft, graffiti, and vandals.
Windows and ground-floor doors had been plastered with stucco; some doors replaced with metal roll-up doors.
Under the California Environmental Quality Act, the ambitious project restored, renovated, and modernized the 280,000-square-foot historic industrial complex, adaptively reusing it as a creative office space accompanied by a new green Paseo—all while preserving it its architectural character.
Bright, contemporary, and concise workspaces span across the five-story main building and an adjoining two-storey annex.
The contrast of old and new, hard and soft, and warm and cool materials creates a dynamic, future-forward home base for WMG’s 800 employees.
As a nod to the ground floor’s original purpose as a Model T showroom, a two-tier, 250-seat flexible live performance space as a showcase for current tenant Warner Music Group’s recording artists.
A two-storey co-working space was created on the ground and mezzanine level.
Offices were designed as seven mini-communities within the building.
Project: Rockwell Group Warner Music Group Headquarter
Designers: Rockwell Group
Design Team: David Rockwell, Greg Keffer, Matthew Winter, Frances Calosso, and Liam Innes
Architects of Record: Rockefeller Kempel Architects
Original Architects: John Parkinson and George Bergstrom (1912)
Client: Warner Music Group (WMG)
Photographers: Chris Payne/Esto