Music Haven

Critics: Turner Brooks, Adam Hopfner
Yale University //
B.A. Architecture Studio // Fall 2014


Music Haven


A community arts organization in New Haven, CT, Music Haven is both the residency and performance center of the Haven String Quartet and host of a tuition-free after-school music program for schoolchildren in New Haven’s underprivileged neighborhoods.

What distinguishes Music Haven from other arts and performance centers is its emphasis on social mission, bringing together a fractured community through music.

The design process started with a series of experiments centered on the unit room: exploring ways to create variety, then aggregating these units around an organizational and programmatic sequence.

The interstitial space is occupied by the unstructured program, allowing it to expand into the nooks and crannies left outside the rooms-- a music library, hangout spaces, and an intimate concert hall with a kitchenette and potluck area.

Materials express the tectonics of the rooms, differentiating between an outer shell that wraps around itself, wood and glass infill panels, and an additional inner shell where acoustic isolation is needed.

The spatial and tectonic logic of the unit room is in dialogue with the site. The building wraps around an inner courtyard, which steps down to host an audience for outdoor performances.