The whole enchilada - Hospital Design
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The whole enchilada


Consultation room: With a fold-down table and a radiography viewbox that are hidden by custom oak cabinets stained to match the woodwork throughout the practice (inset), the consultation room doubles as a fifth exam room or a comfort room. It's designed to have a comfortable, non-clinical feel. Upholstered chairs and an old-fashioned desk complete the homey look.
This open, pleasant tone carries throughout the facility and is reinforced by the inclusion of numerous windows. "Our architect designed two cupolas to flood the reception and treatment areas with natural light," Dr. Resell says. "And interior windows make it easy to see between rooms."

No place like home

To reflect his practice's philosophy of providing high-quality medicine in a caring family environment, Dr. Resell wanted to build a high-tech hospital with a homey feel. That comfortable feeling is evident upon driving up to the practice, located just off a busy road. Visitors are immediately granted a view of lush landscaping, a waterfall, and a pond.

The landscape design includes plants that attract birds, butterflies, and hummingbirds. A hospital team member planted the butterfly garden along the western side of the facility, and the team has counted up to 25 monarch butterflies fluttering among the flowers at once. The garden also holds the interest of the cats boarded at the facility, whose condos look out on the five-star view.

Reception: From the reception area, clients can see into the pet information center and observe fish in the 105-gallon saltwater tank. The curved reception desk, stonework, and curved archways reflect the exterior architectural elements and give the interior a touch of regional vernacular elements.

Exam: The entire facility, including exam rooms, features a central vacuum system with floor-level kickplates to make sweeping the floors a breeze. The custom red oak millwork features storage compartments of various sizes, something that Dr. Resell says he couldn't have too much of. The window floods the space with natural light.

Once clients enter the practice, they're greeted with soft music and custom artwork hanging on the walls that portrays images of pets and families. "Our clients have commented that our hospital feels like home," Dr. Resell says. "That's validation that we achieved our goal." To help balance out the soothing atmosphere with a bit of a technological edge, Dr. Resell included flat-screen monitors in every exam, consultation, and waiting room. On Saturday mornings the monitor in the waiting area shows cartoons. "So although the facility's inviting, the technology conveys the impression of a high-tech practice," he says. "We often hear clients say that our hospital is nicer than their own human hospital."

And it was built to be sturdy, too. In fact, Atascocita Animal Hospital withstood Hurricane Rita just a month before the team moved in. "I was standing with the contractor Ken Austin looking at all the massive wood beams that support the structure, and the contractor commented that if there was ever a hurricane, we should come here for shelter," Dr. Resell says. And one of his partners ended up doing just that. The facility suffered only minor damage: a lost shingle and a damaged gate latch.

Takeaway lesson

Floor plan: Atascocita Animal Hospital





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