“The building was built without government funding, relying solely on donations from our community," says Wendy Bye, the project’s interior decorator. "We took ideas from others, but we wanted to make sure our ideas worked best with our space, our community and our residents.” Chapman House was named for the family behind Canada’s largest independent ice-cream maker, which generously donated $1 million towards the project.
“This particular property presented the opportunity to orient the building to the winter solstice,” Diemert explains. The vestibule – the first point on the axis – reveals a curved donor wall that leads to the main hall. “The architecture actually reflects a journey, if you care to interpret it that way," he adds. “Significant spaces and functions occur along the central axis: the protective canopy at the exterior vehicle crossing, the entrance vestibule, the kitchen within a double height space lit with clerestory windows, a skylight feature, the nursing station, an empty niche and finally, the family room with its culminating box bay window.”
G.M. Diemert Architect Inc.
Neale Kemp, Project Coordinator
Wendy Bye, Interior Decorator
Bluewater Construction & Landscaping Ltd.
Concept Signs & Marketing
CRS Contractors Rental Supply
DJ Peat Roofing & Sheet Metal Ltd.
Exquisite Wood Designs
Extreme Linings and Coatings
GM BluePlan Engineering
Grey Bruce Coatings & Insulation Ltd.
Grey-Bruce Construction Limited
Grey Bruce Drywall
Grey Bruce Line Spraying & Lot Maintenance
Grey Bruce Paint and Décor
Grey Bruce Sod Supply Limited
Harold Sutherland Construction Ltd.
Hewett & Milne Ltd.
The Home Depot Owen Sound
John Thompson Movers
JP Commercial Contractors
Krueger Custom Steel & Machining
Locking Business Furnishings
Macdonald’s BrandSource Home Furnishings
Meaford Factory Outlet
Miller’s Home Hardware Building Centre
Nedlaw Living Walls
Owen Sound Ledgerock Limited
Redmond’s Tree Service
RF King Excavating
Shouldice Designer Stone
The Miller Group
The Old Barn Polished Stone Creations
Troy Life & Fire Safety Ltd.
Van Dolder’s Custom Exteriors
Van Dolder’s Kitchen and Bath
Westside Nurseries & Greenhouses Ltd.
A journey through the building’s corridors channels one back and forth across the axis to spaces such as the residential rooms or the quiet rooms where families can gather.
Bye’s vision saw that people could find tranquility in the kitchen with its beautiful floor-to-ceiling living wall that functions as a bio-filter. As with many homes, the kitchen is where people congregate and it was the designer’s hope this space is one where strangers come together and find comfort in one another while at the hospice and in the difficult days ahead.
Wide, angled corridors filtered by natural light, lead to the first of the nine resident rooms (only eight of which are funded).
Bye decorated each residential suite to provide the comforts of home for those staying in their final days. Each bed is adorned with a beautiful, handcrafted quilt. The colours on the walls are calming in nature and every detail, big and small reflects that calmness. Floating shelves allow space for each resident to display special memorabilia and precious photographs. Each room has soft, dimmable lighting. Roll out patio doors allow residents to be outside and take in the beauty of the hospice’s surroundings. Each suite is a separate bedroom that accommodates loved ones with closet space and storage to hang their personal belongings. “We wanted to make the space feel as comfortable as possible for families too,” says Bye. “It’s their experience that they carry forward.”
The Quiet Room, the Family Room and the Kids’ Room are each special spaces where families can gather and gain a sense of normality during a time far from it.