Musicians Haven — Architecture Competition by

UNI announces ‘Musician’s Haven’ — Architecture Competition to A remote studio residence for a musician in Ennetbürgen, Switzerland —

5 min readDec 3, 2021


Fig: 1 — Music around the world is versatile and dynamic. It is an inseparable part of human life and has been so, since the early days.

The language of music

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything.” — Plato

Worldwide we are different in many aspects. From geographical, ethnicity to culture. We all have different languages ​​but there is only one language that we all share; that is the language of music. The ambiance of any occasion or space is changed or made by the music of the space. Let that be the hustle and bustle of an amphitheater or the silence of a meditation hall; music is everywhere.

Like time, music is the fourth dimension that enhances our experience; let that be of a space or the emotion of the moment.

It would be right to say that with music we are free to transition into any emotional space as we want and whenever we want. Symphony from the past or the rock beats on full bass in the present; never fails to transcend us into the very realm we wish to be in.

Fig: 2 — Newer instruments create new types of music but their effect remains unchanged. It calms our nerves, puts us to ease but at the same time can energize and lift our spirits.

The Musician — an architect of silence

“Music is the strongest form of magic.” — Marilyn Manson

Music is like magic, and like every magic; it too has a magician. And the magician is the musician. Like the artist paints the canvas; an architect designs a structure in an empty space, the musician creates a melody in silence. In many ways, thus, music and architecture are alike.

The ways or style of music changes drastically depending upon the individual musician. But all of them are woven into the same fiber of self-expression. Composition, production to direction, and execution these processes are all handled by the musician on different levels. Which makes them have a multi-faceted profile that requires varied artistic talents and a creative knack for notes.

Varied musical instruments are used for musical composition which depends mainly on the type of music that is getting composed. But the factor that binds these varied and diverse forms of music is by only one personthe musician.

Fig: 3 — A musician immersed in playing the guitar in his own space (Credits- Only Lovers Left Alive (2013) Director-Jim Jarmusch)

Brief of the Competition

And as magical as this journey of music and musicians seems. Equally magical is the journey of the creation of an abode for them. And that is exactly the challenge of this competition.

And just the way there are different aspects that are needed for the creation of music. Creating an architectural refuge for the musician also needs a wide scope of understanding and artistic eye.

Brief: The challenge of this competition is to create a home cum studio space for the musician which would not just provide a refuge but also act as a place for composing and creating music.

This challenge is to create a space that not only helps in creating a comfortable environment for the musician but also a space that is fabricated or designed especially for music.

Creating a symphony between music and architecture. As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said it well in this quote:

“Architecture is frozen music”

Design Objectives

Understanding the Musician: Understanding the musician, their workspaces, and decoding their minds to create a client brief.

Relation between Music and spaces: Research and understand how spaces are created for any musical purpose. Basic understanding and concepts regarding the same can help in formulating the type, size, shape of the spaces.

Materials: Study the kind of materials used especially for sound-related spaces. From Sound absorptive and reflective materials to other materials that help create a music-friendly space.

Construction methodology: With changing use of materials there is a change in the methods of their construction. Starting from the scale of buildings to their size, openings punctures that the building can have.

The above objectives can be a point of beginning to conceive this design. The participants can assume their program based on the client brief and concept they formulate.


Fig: 4 — Site image

Switzerland is a heavenly abode wherein lies the wonderful snow-capped mountains and its peace-loving people. Beyond its natural beauty, the art and culture scene of the country is rich. The music of Switzerland consists of heritage instruments and folk music as well as contemporary marvels. It also hosts many massive events that showcase the talent of musicians.

The site is located in Ennetbürgen. This municipality is part of the Nidwalden canton, in Central Switzerland. The area is surrounded by a Lake, mountains, and forests.

The site is an open parcel of land inside a thick forest land. It offers privacy and serenity that would follow the typology of this challenge.

•Total Site Area: 12,193 sqm
Area: 500 sqm
•Height limit: G + 2 = Max floor height 8m / per floor.
•FAR (Floor Area Ratio): 0.75
•Ground Coverage: 20%
•Coordinates: 46 ° 59'43.5 “N 8 ° 27'02.0” E

Find all the competition brief, terms, and other registration guidelines on this

page: Musicians Haven | Residential Building Competition on UNI | About

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