On first glance, you might think you’ve stepped into an aquarium attraction rather than a veterinary hospital upon entering Dunwoody Animal Medical Center in Dunwoody, Georgia. Cool blue tiles evocative of the ocean surround the reception desk. Bubble-like pendant lights hang from a wood-slat ceiling. Transom windows with wavy blue glass cover the doors and windows. And the piece de resistance is the ultra-large salt water aquarium that acts as both a centerpiece for entertainment and a room divider for waiting clients.
Dr. CL Johnson III acknowledges that the aquarium was a pricey investment, one he didn’t have to make in order to build a great animal hospital. But, having an aquarium in his practice was a long-time dream.
Dr. Johnson says he has had clients bring their children and grandchildren in just to see the fish. And people stop him in restaurants just to chat about the aquarium. “Anything that gets people talking in a good way is good for business,” he says.
The aquarium acts as a peninsula room divider for the roomy reception area. Dr. Johnson says he’s a big fan of an open reception area and chose to dedicate a larger percentage to the reception area than is recommended. “I know the reception area isn’t the money maker for the practice, but I like giving people space,” he says. “It’s an open, airy feeling that welcomes people in.”
And the water theme helps as well. “I’m a big fan of water, I find it so calming,” he says. “Apparently my clients do, too. I get a lot of comments about how peaceful and relaxed the reception area is, and that sets the tone for the rest of the hospital.”
Click here to see a full tour of Dunwoody Animal Medical Center.