G.M. Diemert Architect Inc.

Grey Roots Heritage Museum


This project had been conceived during 2000 as a small addition to the existing Grey-Owen Sound Museum and transformed, eventually, into the current 38,000 main building with a new 20-acre site. The new building incorporates rural themes, locally harvested maple hardwood and cedar softwood, salvaged timber and Grey County stone for floors and walls. The building houses the permanent collection within a new racked storage system together with a publically accessible archive with a reading room. Temporary exhibit rooms are designed to conjoin with adjacent rooms to permit the installation of large traveling exhibits. Smaller venues are created by closing large sliding door panels.

In addition, the County had planned to develop a period village using reconstructed buildings and this work had commenced during 2006. G. M. Diemert Architect Inc. continues to provide architectural services for this recreated village including design of the School House and the Band Stand. A barn, farm house from the 1920’s period, blacksmith shop, repair garage and a saw mill had been previously recreated by the County and relocated to the site. The historic story of settlement within Grey County is rounded out by two log cabins dating from the 1850’s.

The site had been planned during the conceptual design period in order to capitalize on local trails, distant views of Georgian Bay and to accommodate special services including a stored water supply for fire fighting and ground source heating loops. The 60,000-gallon water supply tank is buried into a hillside and while designed to supply water to fire fighters and the building’s sprinkler system, it is also utilized as a heat sink for the earth energy system. The geothermal energy system is used to heat the foyer floor and the entire perimeter of the building through means of Ice Kube heat pumps that would traditionally be utilized to make ice for skating rinks.

The conceptual exhibit design was developed jointly by Apropos Planning - Interpretive Planners, Design + Communication Inc. of Montreal and G. M. Diemert, Architect Inc. The architect also coordinated the installation of all of the permanent requirements for the exhibits, the theatre and the temporary exhibit rooms to ensure the precise placement of electrical and communication devices and that future expansion of these facilities can be achieved.

The architect also selected all furnishings and the archive and artifact storage systems. G. M. Diemert, Architect Inc. also provided all interior design services including all the design of all foyer, café and gift shop custom cabinetry.