The Client Needs
Dr. Balog was establishing a new clinic location in a small, leased business space off Barnes Rd. in Portland OR. this rectangular space needed to house a reception area, waiting area, and storage for filing, employees personal items, and office supplies. Adjacent to the main area was a small space allocated for a kitchenette to serve the breakroom. I was responsible for designing a storage arrangement to accommodate all of the clinic’s needs, the kitchenette cabinetry, and a clean & welcoming reception desk. Dr. Balog sought a modern, professional and comfortable look that didn’t feel “medical” or “aseptic.”
Due to the geometry of the clinic’s space, only very linear solutions would effectively provide optimal comfort and functionality. All office storage and treatment records needed to be arranged along a single wall. All circulation had to be ADA compliant. The reception area needed to provide a division between back and front of house, as well as a refuge for the receptionist for comfort and patient privacy.
The area of work formed a backwards capital ‘L’ with the entrance at the junction of the horizontal leg and vertical stem. This readily leant itself to a “front of house’ along the horizontal of the ‘‘L and “back of house” along the vertical. I divided the front of house between the waiting area and reception area, placing the reception desk directly facing the door. This position also circumvented any passage into the treatment area without first having to interact with the receptionist. The “back of house” was a wide hall with treatment rooms off to the left and a long space for storage on the right. This hall ended in a doorway, within which the kitchenette was placed on the right and space maintained for a small seating area on the left. This would facilitate employees accessing the kitchenette for coffee and such without losing line of site on the entrance.
A carpet tile for the space had already been selected, but the interior paint and horizontal surface selections were undecided. It was concluded on our first meeting that a high gloss white finish with complementary textures and finishes would impart the modern, clean, and comfortable feel the doctor was looking for. This also allowed me to make use of a new laminated white gloss product being added to my employer’s materials portfolio. It allowed for faster manufacturing by omitting the hand-lamination step we otherwise employed. The cabinet finishes included a high gloss white, suede white interiors, suede charcoal metallic rigid thermofoil by LTI, and a chocolate-brown horizontally textured wood grain from Prism, all topped of with a sparkling light gray quartz Silestone from Precision Countertops.
As the clinic palette included a texture mix I included both physical and visual textures to break up the massive “wall-o-storage” into a beautiful wall of rhythmic contrast, line, and sheen. Stainless steel linear bar pull handles on the drawers and doors further emphasized the clean lines of the cabinetry. Another layer to this design included an integrated LED lighting system from Hafele which provided hands-free motion activated task/under cabinet lighting in the kitchenette and an attractive lit toe-kick highlighting the layered look of the design and the visual modernity Dr. Balog sought.
I recently revisited this office to photograph the interior. I learned that unfortunately Dr. Balog’s clinic venture was not successful and the clinic had closed. However, the property owner enjoyed the renovation so much he moved his own operations into that space!