I was on my way to meet with a new client, a doctor of pediatrics, to design his new office in a beautiful building in Beverly Hills, California. All I knew about Edmond was that he practices holistic medicine, loves children and appreciates Zen meditative ideology. He offers pediatric care in conjunction with acupuncture and massage. His office is his dream come true of a high-end luxury pediatric office integrated with Zen concepts where well to do families and celebrities will visit. But of course every project has some limits to its budget.
WORKING WITHIN BUDGET CONSTRAINTS: The old office space was quite run down. The existing carpet was old and needed to be completely removed. We replaced it with beautiful laminated dark wood flooring. Edmond didn't particularly like the old veneer doors in the office but his budget wouldn't allow for their replacement, so we made them work and harmonize with the new design. The entire space was drastically in need of fresh paint, and the lighting required a complete overhaul. One excellent existing feature was that the office had several large windows with a view into a courtyard filled with green plants and trees.
RESEARCH: I initially approached the project by learning more about Zen which encompasses five elements: Earth, Water, Fire, Wind (movement) and Heaven (energy). My immediate challenge was working out how to implement each of the elements into the design in a way that would feel harmonious in a pediatric office and not appear forced or awkward. Edmond loved the basic idea and we brainstormed how to achieve the concepts.
HERE'S WHAT WE DECIDED: Earth is represented by earth tone colors and the textures of finishes, walls and cabinetry. The custom-designed reception area uses the colors and textures of nature while still remaining efficient as a work station. Water: Two elegant fountains, soft lighting and slight shifts of earthtone colors transformed the boring hallway to a meditative walk. A modern fireplace in the waiting room brought us the third element of Zen: Fire. Large windows through out the office with view of botanical landscaping and trees helped us to represent Wind. Lighting (Energy/Heaven) was one of the items that took a good amount of study and research to achieve our intent. The lighting was designed to supplement the natural light from the windows, creating a soft, relaxing environment throughout the office.
KID-FRIENDLY SPACES: We did not forget about the kids. The children's exam room is my favorite part of the entire project. We created an abstract bamboo jungle that toddlers can walk right into for an adventure. Mirrors in the background were used to create the illusion of a bigger jungle. Stuffed animals hanging from the bamboo trees, mural wall covering and a safari exam bed all bring delight to each toddler as they enter the room.
FINAL RESULT—A DELIGHTED CLIENT: Edmond is very pleased with the new office. He believes the design work we did for him has significantly grown his business. The workflow is extremely efficient. Staff enjoy the new work environment while it provides a soothing, relaxing ambiance for the patients and parents. Children seem to be calmer in the waiting room, and absolutely love the exam room.
Special thank you's go to Trimakgrp, the construction crew for their terrific work and dedication to the project.
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