Aging multitenant property gets a modern, cohesive update
REFRESH DENTAL | Southfield, MI, US
completed April 2018
size 4,052 sf
photos Kate Wells/Jencen Architecture
Contributing Shop! member: Jencen Architecture design/architecture, lighting design
Combining two existing offices into a single location, this redesign project transformed an existing two-story, multitenant, general office building into a singular dental service experience that functions well and reflects the Refresh Dental chain’s ethos. Anchored in “clean comfort,” the design incorporates the latest in dental health consumer preferences and the psychology driving dental provider choices.
Designed and built 50 years earlier, the property itself presented challenges that needed to be cleared in pursuit of a singular modern healthcare facility. Because patient access and circulation control are paramount in dental design, the two-story structure required a solution that minimized patient wandering. The building also lacked an essential part of any healthcare practice: a lobby.
To tackle both issues, the ground/entry level was expanded to create a welcoming centralized lobby space for highly visible check-in, waiting, and checkout. The expansion was achieved by removing the upper level floor with infill to create the expanded grade level floor, creating a 1.5-story lobby space filled with natural light. This area also serves as a way to control access to treatment areas, with patients checking in before going upstairs or downstairs to receive treatment.
Because the building would now include healthcare service providers, all levels needed to be accessible. The choice to add an accessible lift was made due to space constraints, existing structural limitations and budget. A simple open concept handicapped lift blends in with the surrounding lobby space and provides the access needed.
The end result of the redesign is a cohesive, modern facility that jibes flawlessly with the brand’s ‘clean comfort’ design philosophy. Reflecting a spa-like experience, the design features soft whites, comfortable materials and furnishings, natural sensation foliage, calming lavender scents, a refreshment concierge, both open and private treatment rooms, private check- out areas, and abundant soft natural light.
The brand standard interior space configurations were adjusted to accommodate the unique size, shape, and configurations of the two-story building while elevating operational fluidity and patient experience. Expansive, flexible staff areas accommodate the large practice’s needs, including double business office and doctor office capacity.
Materials selected for the project provide a clean look and feel, from creamy white counter surfaces and waved, subtly textured soft white cabinetry surfaces. A creamy white solid surface reception desk with silver metallic screen and illuminated toe-kick includes an integral beverage station for patient convenience. Treatment delivery/cabinetry is ambidextrous and provides integral storage and waste receptacles to keep work surfaces organized and free from clutter.
Low profile recessed lighting allows for adequate illumination with limited plenum space. Design features are also highlighted with lighting: recessed/directional wall wash low profile LED cove lighting is directed at a lobby logo signage pin mounted on a varied wood panel wall feature. Recessed/directional multi-lamp fixtures provide highlight wash at the wood wall logo and foliage wall feature areas.
Bold, statement wayfinding graphics are utilized for room numbers on bright, branded colored colonnade elements, adding a pop of color to the otherwise neutral environment. Branded graphic message panels with offset mounts appear throughout the facility.
The exterior design set a new standard for the chain, as this project was the first new location that required it. The existing building shell’s neutral brick façade and full-height openings provide a solid foundation for its modernization.
The exterior renovation complements the brand’s interior design ideology: simple, clean, comfortable, and spa-like. Main exterior logo signage echoes interior signage with bright white on varied wood panel substrate surface.
The new “skin” design elements further the clean comfort design philosophy with simple lines and subtle depth variations with natural wood shiplap and soft stucco in creamy white. Replacement glazing systems include spandrel glass in a bright, clean greenish blue that accommodates the second- floor slab and the ground level expansion while furthering the building’s new clean, fresh look.
Roof screens complement the exterior design composition with harmonious texture and color. Exterior wall uplight and downlight wall wash fixtures add to the rhythm of the building’s openings and provide for dramatic nighttime effect.