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Step into Sony’s Award-Winning Canadian Headquarters

18 Jan 2022 4 Minute Read

Step into Sony’s Award-Winning Canadian Headquarters

When Sony Music began searching for a new Canadian headquarters about two years ago, the entertainment giant wanted a place where they could display six decades worth of accolades, welcome artists old and new, and continue making hits.

CBRE’s Vishal Sawlani took the helm as the designated project manager for the job.

The new Sony HQ would unite two existing offices and three business units under one roof. The winning address, 99 Atlantic Avenue, saw Sony return to its beloved Liberty Village, a neighbourhood it had vacated in favour of North York a decade ago. At 20,000 square feet, though, the space represented a 55% reduction in real estate.

From the start, Sawlani and his team had to be creative, purposeful, and efficient with every inch of space. From visioning and needs analysis sessions to deep dives, every stakeholder was consulted as the team developed a plan to nail Sony’s vision for their new home.

“Project management is all about being proactive and extra communicative at all times,” Sawlani explains. “COVID definitely threw a wrench into things. But as long as the client understands what’s going on—they know there’s a delay, for example—we can work together to avoid major headaches.”

REmmy Winner

Two years and one pandemic later, Sony’s new headquarters is not only complete, but has won a REmmy Award from CoreNet Canada. Presented annually, the REmmy Awards recognize leadership excellence, innovation, sustainable design, and social responsibility in corporate real estate and workplace management.

“I was just so excited to get this project complete and have a satisfied client. Having our industry recognize the achievement was a bonus,” Sawlani says. “Because of COVID, there were a lot of ups and downs. It was challenging but the collaboration between all the stakeholders made this project a success.”

Cutting-edge technology has been embedded throughout the Sony space, forming a hub for both music creation and enjoyment. The bright and relaxed workspace accommodates over 150 staff and includes a performance venue and full-fledged recording studio. The latter was a personal highlight for Sawlani: “The process of designing and building a recording studio, like what sort of equipment and machinery goes into it, that was quite interesting to see.”



Welcoming and Casual

Sony’s intention was to create an environment that was welcoming and casual while still conducive to its hardworking team. Design inspiration was drawn from Yorkville’s coffee house era, leading to a striking space that marries the vintage feel of that neighbourhood with the energy of the modern music industry.

Minimal walls, communal amenities, and a shared reception seamlessly integrate the teams and create synergy between different business units. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the space with sunlight while offering 360-degree views of Toronto’s skyline and Lake Ontario.

Outfitted with ergonomic chairs and height-adjustable tables, the open-office layout encourages daily interactions and supports headcount flexibility.

A highlight of the space is the aptly named “Coffee House,” a hub designed to encourage informal interactions between Sony staff, artists, and guests. A multifunctional space, the Coffee House offers a range of furniture solutions and specialized acoustics, allowing it to double as a performance venue.

Audio-Focused Design

The audio-focused nature of Sony’s business played a significant part in the design, too. Meeting rooms include a mix of Sony-branded components and conventional products, making for a unique AV solution that can accommodate various conversational and listening needs.

Expertly blended into the millwork of the formal boardroom, two floor speakers are ready to deliver a chest-thumping concert experience at a moment’s notice.

With indoor air quality more important than ever, the HVAC system underwent a state-of-the-art redesign with sustainability as its guiding principle. A notable feature is demand-controlled ventilation and carbon dioxide censors that ensure the quality of the air never drops below a desired level.

Every detail within Sony’s new headquarters was carefully considered and expertly managed from start to finish.


“The project is a testament to the value-add our CBRE Project Management team provides, we utilized a lot of different CBRE PJM services on this project, such as Building Commissioning, Cost Consulting, Business Transition and Move Management, and COVID HVAC Review. This provided the client with a one-stop solution.”
Vishal Sawlani

“The project is a testament to the value-add our CBRE Project Management team provides,” says Sawlani. “We utilized a lot of different CBRE PJM services on this project, such as Building Commissioning, Cost Consulting, Business Transition and Move Management, and COVID HVAC Review. This provided the client with a one-stop solution.”

“We didn’t just think about delivering the project from point A to point B. From the start, we were thinking from a holistic real estate strategy perspective about how we could benefit the client to the maximum.”

A warm, inviting space outfitted with the latest technology, the new Sony HQ is the ideal destination for artistic creation. “The designs really delivered on the intent,” Sawlani says. “Sony loves it and I love it as well. They were a great client to work with.”

 

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