Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Calm places in busy hospitals: part two

In March I wrote part one of this series explaining how I came to love hospitals and what I find so fascinating about them. There, I featured two interesting hospital spaces: the Buhler Gallery at St. Boniface Hospital and the century-old chapel at Misericordia.

Given their utilitarian nature and need for constant upgrades and renovation, hospitals are overlooked as places of interesting architecture and beautiful spaces.

HSC Campus
Take the Health Sciences Centre, for example. A walk around the area presents a dizzying array of architecture ranging from the late 1800s to early 2000s. As the hospital has been added to in concentric layers you sometimes have to look in the nooks and crannies see past details.

HSC Campus
HSC Campus
Winnipeg General Hospital Powerhouse
HSC Campus
HSC Campus
Should you find yourself spending time at the HSC, take a walk around the sprawling site and adjacent U of M Bannatyne Campus for some interesting and unique buildings.

St. Boniface Hospital - Chapel
My featured indoor space this time around is the chapel at St. Boniface Hospital. As with Misericordia, the chapel is in one of the oldest parts of the complex, ca.1908 and is quite a beautiful space.

St. Boniface Hospital - Chapel
St. Boniface Hospital - Chapel
Located on the second floor of the C Wing, the chapel is open 24 hours a day. Another space to escape the sometimes chaotic world of the modern hospital.

Winnipeg General Hospital Winnipeg Time Machine
Urban Myths: St. Boniface General Hospital CBC
Former Brandon Mental Health Centre site West End Dumplings
June 2011 Update: Misericordia Chapel under demolition


Brian said...

I was a security guard for a few weeks on the HSC site way back in the early 1990s. Walked over and over again through the architectural collage you refer to, almost always empty of people even during day shifts. I also had to do night patrols with nothing but a flashlight, checking on a construction site for an unlit, unfinished mental health ward. Tiptoed past many an empty, freshly carpeted room with an adjoining two way mirror.

Needless to say, my memory of the site isn't "fascinating," so much as "creepy."

Gerald said...

I hear you Brian! I was security at Misericordia in the early '90s. Night shifts through the basement were NOT fun times, especially when we were searching for an 'escapee' from the geriatric ward. Plus, the old wood 'fridge' doors in the morgue were right out of a horror flick.

But, a trip through the chapel always brought a little beauty to the night. Not to mention the maternity ward.

Hospitals are an amazing cross-section and summation of different lives, cultures, beliefs - and aromas.

Christian Cassidy said...

Yes, they have their creepy section. I remember as a volunteer delivering phone books to every site in the complex. Took a week solid. I had to go to the Pincock Building, the 1890's forerunner to PsychHealth. Wow. THAT was like something out of a horror flick.