At Warner Music’s new premises, a cosy, 70s-inspired feel is combined with a trendy and luxurious vibe.

Warner Music Finland relocated to their new offices at Helsinki’s Olavinkatu in March. The company’s roots go back to the legendary Musiikki-Fazeri’s Finnlevy label. Today, Warner Music Finland forms part of the international Warner Music Group and boasts a line-up of hugely successful Finnish artists, including Jenni Vartiainen, Cheek, Chisu, Paula Koivuniemi and Samuli Edelmann as well as the Vain Elämää compilation series.

Recently, the company decided it needed additional space to house its 42-strong staff. Staff numbers have doubled at Warner Music Finland over the past eight years and their old lease was due to expire at the new year. The company decided to move closer to central Helsinki, home to the staff’s favourite restaurants and other important haunts.

The move to the new 1,246 m2 offices was preceded by a complete refurbishment that saw the property gutted to the studs. The project involved complex demolition work and the construction of a completely new staircase that now provides access to the upstairs sauna and entertaining space. The upstairs corridor was also given a more spacious feel with the addition of new windows. The premises also comprise an outdoor terrace area, which was extended at the new occupants’ request.

“Sponda responded flexibly to the extra changes we requested. A good example of this is the way they created a new entrance for the upstairs sauna and terrace space,” Niko Nordström, General Manager, Warner Music Finland says.

Upstairs, downstairs

The downstairs entrance hall offers visitors the first taste of proper music business glamour, while the spacious, open-plan kitchen, with a feature gold record wall, is the perfect place to enjoy a coffee and find out more about the record company’s past.

Downstairs is also home to a series of glass-fronted offices and workstations. A carpet adds a cosy feel and also acts as a sound dampener, lending the place a surprisingly calm feel, especially considering it is the music business we are talking about.

The sauna and lounge areas as well as a meeting room are upstairs. This is where the entire company gets together on a Friday morning for a joint breakfast to mark the end of another busy week. The space is also used for artist showcases and other media events.

The upstairs sauna has already been given a test run by the Finnish band Egotrippi after they had finished putting the final touches to their latest album.

Expert help at hand

The new office space was designed by the KOKO3 design agency, which has worked with Warner Music on previous office refits.

“We have collaborated with them for quite a while now and they knew exactly what we were after. The whole process involving Sponda and the architects was obviously a lot of hard work and very complex but at the end of the day, everyone is happy and everything was delivered more or less on schedule. I think we exceeded the original deadline by about two weeks but we had plenty of warning of this in advance,” Riikka Bogdanoff, Warner Music Project Manager, says, clearly delighted.

So, what does the music industry look like now from Warner Music Finland’s perspective, as the market is changing in the internet age? With a share of 32.5 per cent, Warner Music is the Finnish market leader. However, record sales have halved since the peak years in the early 2000s.

“We have had to rethink our business models just like everyone else. For example, we are years ahead of others in the industry with our live music work – we now organise concerts for our artists, including the Vain Elämää concert series and Cheek’s stadium appearances,” explains Niko Nordström.

Text: Nina Garlo-Melkas