The purpose of the Design Ideas Competition is to enable the realisation of a new music studio in Cité Soleil, Haiti, for Wyclef Jean’s Charity Yelé Haiti. This competition is being organised by RIBA Competitions and is supported and sponsored by John McAslan + Partners and Allied London.
Haiti is one of the poorest nations in the Western Hemisphere, with many of Haiti’s 8 million residents living on less than US$1 per day. Unemployment is close to 80 percent, and more than half the population is under 21 years old.
Yelé Haiti was founded by Haitian-born, Grammy-Award winning musician and record producer Wyclef Jean, formerly of The Fugees. Yelé Haiti is a grassroots movement which aims to raise global awareness for Haiti and transform the country through the regeneration of forgotten neighbourhoods and programmes in education, sports, the arts and environment. As Goodwill Ambassador to Haiti, Jean’s enduring passion is to help his country’s youthful population to rebuild their nation.
The music studio will combine recording of music and radio programming with vocational training, micro-enterprise opportunities and job creation for at-risk youth in the area. The studio is a joint venture between Yelé Haiti, Sak Pasé Records (Wyclef Jean’s own record label) and Radio Boukman, a popular community radio station in Cité Soleil that shares a boundary with the site.
Wyclef Jean said, “Music is what I live, breathe and sleep. Where I come from, music is not just notes. It is a way of survival. That’s how important the Yelé Music Studio is. Building this project in Cité Soleil is a matter of life and death.”
John McAslan said, “My ambition is that young architects from around the world will be inspired to create some fantastic designs for the music studio and by doing so, help build a better future for the young people of Cité Soleil.”
The music studio will occupy a 1,680 sq.ft (approx.) site as identified in the survey drawing. The existing structure at the rear of the site should be demolished, and a connection to the Radio Boukman compound should be considered.
The following areas must be incorporated:
- A Reception Area with space for a desk and some seating
- A Control Room for a recording console plus desk
- Sound Booth A: to accommodate up to 3 musicians
- Sound Booth B: to accommodate up to a choir of 40 people standing
- Lounge: comfortable seating, kitchen unit, for watching television and listening to music
- Unisex Bathroom
- Generator Room: to house generator and inverters (batteries)
- Storage area (not much larger than a closet)
The Control Room and Sound Booths need to be soundproofed, and there needs to be visual access between the Control Room and each of the Sound Booths. This set of three rooms requires air-conditioning due to heat generated by the equipment.
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”, I M Mintzer, 1992
Low energy and low water usage must be incorporated in the proposal. Use of local materials, recycled materials, and renewable energy technologies, should also be considered.
This Design Ideas Competition seeks a transformational and creative response to the functional requirements of the project. Those judging the submissions will seek out a winning entry which best addresses the needs of the community, as well as the building users. Proposals need to be imaginative yet practical, and within the physical constraints of the site.