What is inspiring Ferndown’s new facility?
The architect behind the transformation of the funeral directors AE Jolliffe & Son in Ferndown has explained the philosophy behind the plans.
Both businesses are part of Dorset’s Douch Family Funeral Directors that is developing its premises for the changing nature of the industry.
The Ferndown branch of the group includes an elegant 1930s house and a collection of buildings erected in a piecemeal fashion.
New plans were developed by Sean using virtual reality so the client could literally be there every step of the way.
It is an attractive development that is underway and it will create an environment not just for the business, but for the families it works with and, indeed, for the whole community.
Sean said: “It is a large site but the space hadn’t been used well because the buildings had been added at different times over the years.
“The main property fronting the road is being retained and with a small addition it has space for reception, meeting rooms and five chapels of rest where families can visit their lost loved ones.
“On entering the business, visitors can see through to the back and glimpse a garden of reflection.
“We wanted the development to feel warm and sympathetic, but also to be beautiful.
“A funeral business is the last door in the street you want to walk into so the atmosphere and ‘feel’ are of great importance.
“The garden of reflection is an oasis not just in the middle of the site, but in the middle of the town.
“It will be open for people to visit so they can remember loved ones in a green, calming and relaxing space.
“Beyond the garden is the service chapel which includes a colonnade beneath which people can congregate undercover before a service.
“The chapel is powerful and comforting with a light, bright inward-looking space for services and other events.
“A function room attached to it enables wakes to be held on site so everything can happen in the same location – making funerals much easier for families.
“Those elements of the business that the public don’t want to see are out of sight and we have retained parking spaces for visitors.
“Our virtual reality enables the client to see what everything will look like and they can wander around it and advise on exactly what they require.
“When completed the Douch Family Funeral Directors will have a fit-for-purpose building and the community will have a wonderful new facility.”