In early 2018, Universal Music Group (UMG) Nashville had a problem: their lease was about to expire. They called on Gresham Smith to design a new workplace that matched their international presence while reflecting the brand of the home of country music. The design team created an elevated and collaborate work environment that better connects employees, supports the unique functions of a record label and provides an inspired experience for all who work and visit.

Client

Universal Music Group Nashville

Location

Nashville, Tenn.

Project Type

Workplace

38K

SF

7

Month Turnaround Time

1

Listening Room

Part Office, Part Music Venue

Part Office, Part Music Venue

When your business is music and your office is in the heart of Music City, you have to be ready to host a show at a moment’s notice. We designed areas for meeting and collaboration as well as social spaces for special events and artist performances—some of these functions all within the same space.
A Listening Room

A Listening Room

We quickly formed trust and a relationship with the client that led to further exploration of their needs and desires beyond the programmed requirements. This was exemplified best in their new Listening Room. UMG never before had an acoustically sound room for their music executives to fully experience their artist’s music and videos in their previous office. The addition of this room changed the way UMG Nashville was able to operate.
Paying Homage to the “King of Country”

Paying Homage to the “King of Country”

Incorporating music—and the idea of what they do—was a must for the design team. The visualization of music was represented in many ways throughout the space. Unique materials such as tile that resemble equalizer bars were used. The cable system located along the central stair, a nod to guitar strings, is designed to be a surprising, interactive element that spans the two floors.

We even commissioned a local artist to create a wood mosaic art installation to showcase UMG Nashville’s legacy artist, George Strait—a literal representation of the labels artists and influence within the country music genre.

Creating A Vision

After
Before

The design team took the executive team from UMG Nashville through a series of visioning sessions to get to know their culture and to gain an understanding of what their vision of the new space should be. Because our client lives on the West Coast, we utilized Enscape, a rendering software, that allowed us to help visually represent spaces to the client during the design process.

Our design work resulted in a unique space with a blend of industrial, relaxed, authentic and creative touches that allows for expansive views and access to daylight throughout the space. UMG Nashville now has a collaborative space complete with a acoustically sound listening room, which allows the team at the home of country music in Nashville, to host an event at a moment’s notice.

Testimonials

“ Gresham Smith were incredible to work with. Their original design was almost exactly as the space is today. They understood our vision and goals, which included same-size offices to maximize use of the space and to give employees natural light and beautiful views. Their team worked with us every step of the way on a very tight schedule. ”

Kim Gilbert, Senior Director of Administrative Services and Nashville Project Manager, Universal Music Group Nashville

Project Contact

Our team designs with genuine care for ingenious solutions.

Design with us.

Jack E. Weber, IIDA, MCR, LEED AP
Jack E. Weber, IIDA, MCR, LEED AP
Senior Vice President/Design Principal