Shoppers brousing the vitrines of High Street Kensington, west London, now have the additional diversion of peering into the jazzy new headquarters of EMI.
The five-storey building, a 1970s office block formerly belonging to Penguin Books, has been remixed by architect MoreySmith. The keynotes of the redesign are a bowed glass facade, a double-height reception area with a curved staircase and a glass-covered atrium that acts as the social hub for the building’s 300 workers.

The architect stresses that the reception area is ideal for “meeting and greeting”, which is to say that it is slick enough to present to leading members of the popocracy.

And speaking of them, the offices will not be lacking reminders of EMI’s output. The signage takes the form of letters on CDs, and three plasma screens show the latest videos picked from the music publisher’s

£2.4bn turnover, which includes singalong chart-topper Robbie Williams, anodyne indie popsters Coldplay and clinically depressing Radiohead. Notable by their absence are another of the company’s famous signings, The Sex Pistols, who were dropped before they had the chance to record a note, and who responded with EMI, a tender ballad full of lyrical regret for what might have been. Not.

There is a listening room on the ground floor, and the first has a performance space for auditioning new talent. And for that streamlined touch, the sound system in the eating area is concealed within the seating.