Success Through Wellness for the Desautels Faculty of Music
A restorative space and plant wall provide a breath of fresh air at the Fort Garry campus!
With help from the Success Through Wellness grant, hosted by Human Resources and Student Affairs in 2020, the Desautels Faculty of Music in partnership with the Office of Sustainability (OOS) has built a plant wall on the fourth floor of Taché Hall.
This floor is full of practice rooms, where students spend hours with their instruments. It is a place of inspiration, discovery, and stress, as students hone their craft through daily practicing. To facilitate a space that would mitigate anxiety and provide a sense of balance, a plant wall to make the lobby feel more inviting wasn’t the only thing in the plans. A wellness room used for yoga, meditation and mindfulness exercises was also on the list of areas in Taché Hall to get a refresh. With COVID halting plans but not ideas, these two offices set to work during the summer of 2021 to turn this project into a reality.
The fourth-floor lobby was given some color by adding a living wall of suspended planters along one side of the room (pictured above). The skylight in the lobby provides just the right amount of sunlight during the day for all the new plants to thrive! Living
walls have been proven to fight air pollution, boost productivity, increase well-being, reduce ambient temperature and improve acoustics – all of these being attributes to the Desautels Faculty of Music.
The wellness room measures 15ft by 11ft and is in the lower level of Taché Hall. Being that this room is focused on wellbeing, it was fitting to add some plants to the space. To complement the plants, the Faculty of Music hosted a mural competition to find two UM students in the School of Fine Arts who could paint a mural on one of the walls. Travis Hunnie and Pani Bolbolabadi created a stunning piece of work featured on the East wall of the space.
“We hope that students build their own relationships with the mural, observing how it responds to changing light and presences in the Room, and that it may inspire feelings of calmness for students when they need it most.”
– Travis Hunnie and Pani Bolbolabadi, mural artists