Warner Bros. Records Building
This transcendent melding of domestic and commercial idioms proves that Late Modern corporate offices can be warm, elegant, and even neighborly.
The Warner Brothers studio and office complex in Burbank contains a number of interesting Late Modern buildings, including office buildings designed by Gibbs & Gibbs and the Luckman Partnership.
The company's first foray into Modern design, however, is arguably its most successful: the Warner Bros. Records Building on Riverside Drive. Warner Bros. opened its music division in 1958, and by the 1970s it needed new office space that would offer a welcoming, relaxed environment to artists as well as executives. It hired prolific Southern California architect A. Quincy Jones to design the new building. Jones was best known for his innovative tract housing that bridged the gap between custom and developer designs, integrating buildings and landscapes into logical yet graceful homes accessible to middle-class buyers.
His residential design experience influenced the plan for the 1975 Warner Bros. Records office, resulting in a low, horizontal building fully integrated into a garden landscape that included large interior spaces of greenery and water onto which offices opened with sliding glass doors. While the building actually has three stories, the lowest is below grade, allowing the design to nestle into the ground.
The property's exterior is clad in vertical redwood siding, lending an organic warmth to severe lines
like the dramatically tilted redwood and glass box at the main entrance. Jones' transcendent melding of domestic and commercial idioms in the Warner Bros. Records Building proves that Late Modern corporate offices can be warm, elegant, and even neighborly.