Maryland’s largest hospice organization serving thousands of families, Gilchrist provides support services for patient’s families both during and after hospice care. As part of the multi-tiered
community initiative, the commission was to create a space for the surviving relatives and friends of hospice patients to reflect and contemplate in a serene environment.  In addition to the contemplation room, a family lounge and hospitality suite function as a gathering area during the patients stay in hospice care.  The impetus for the design is based
on the writings of Rabbi Alvin Fine, who states that “birth is a beginning and death a destination, but life is a journey, a sacred pilgrimage made stage by stage to life everlasting.”

The journey of life is represented by the irregular progression of the stone wall, both horizontally and vertically. The journey begins in the world outside and progresses inward, where the journey
continues through the ups and downs of life’s encounters. The vertical changes in the wall texture represent the journey from birth through life to passing.  Combining water, stone, glass, and
natural light from the expansive skylight with the living green wall connects nature into the built environment. The cascading waterfall’s gentle trickle is a continuous comforting presence in the space. The new chapel features Jerusalem Stone from a quarry in Israel, recalling the spirit of the Western Wall. Similarly, those who visit the chapel are encouraged to leave messages
and prayers in spaces between the stones. As the stone wall extends through to the exterior garden, it is designed to further bridge the connection between spirituality and natures ever-changing

Jury Comments
The wall is wonderfully allegorical. The design succeeds as sculptural art, a connection of indoors and outdoors through the green wall.  The exterior presence of the wall creates
a place for contemplation. The wall is harmonious with the idea that life is a journey.  The lighting complements the artwork, which is bathed in natural illumination, which is
always changing