Let the spirit shine
Itook over Schickel Design Company in 2000 with the goal of continuing the tradition of integrating works of art and Architecture to connect an institution through its buildings to its ideals, and to create beautiful, evocative architectural environments that engage the spirit of those who work, worship, or come there for healing for themselves or for someone they love.
We've recently seen an increase in work for healthcare facilities, which are becoming more cognizant of the connection between body, mind, and spirit. Our healthcare clients typically want us to create a chapel, or to work with their public spaces to make them speak more of the founding ideals. We recently completed a project for the Cincinnati Medical Center Children's Hospital (pictured), where we did all the furnishings and works of art and consulted on the design of the space with the architectural firm.
We use a step-by-step process to develop the design by working closely with the client. We also work with the architects from the start so our work strengthens their work. Once the design is approved, we do fabrication drawings, then create and install the works. We have an extensive network of craftsmen in glass, metal, wood, and stone. Items we might create to strengthen and give life to the environment in a chapel include an altar, cross, ambo, flowing water font, stained glass, paintings, or seasonal liturgical works. The techniques we use are medieval, such as heating and casting, but everything we do is computerized so we can repeat the process over and over.
We encounter many structural challenges in our work for healthcare facilities. Stained glass has to be made according to building codes, and also needs to be installed to function safely based on facility characteristics, such as traffic from gurneys and carts. All glass breaks, however; we use safety glass with no exposed edges. We also will install guardrails to keep carts from smashing into the glass.
Our ultimate goal is to provide beauty, comfort, and hope to people who use the spaces we create. We also hope these spaces strengthen their connection to their faith, which has a powerful healing element. It doesn't matter what that faith is—the chapels we design are multifaith, and we've become good at finding the “common ground.” The message of faith is a very rich area for artistic expression, and we've used it in a number of situations. HD