ASID Icon - January/February 2009 - (Page 34)
UP CLOSE/ Animal Instincts PROJECT SPECS/ Firm Rabaut Design Associates Principal Jo Rabaut, ASID Design Team Jo Rabaut, ASID Vera Farris, ASID Location Loving Hands Animal Clinic 13775 Highway 9 Alpharetta, GA 30004 A GREAT OPPORTUNITY LEADS TO A CHALLENGING, YET REWARDING PROJECT AT THE LOVING HANDS ANIMAL CLINIC/ “THIS [BUILDING] WAS a missed opportunity by DRAWING ABOVE: The lower level of the clinic is a place for pet boarding and grooming. It features a streetscape architectural element for the kennel area, a separate grooming area, and an area for employees. the architect. It was on the road to being a so-so building,” explains Jo Rabaut, ASID, owner of Atlanta’s Rabaut Design Associates, of the Loving Hands Animal Clinic project, her ﬁrm’s unique opportunity to save the Alpharetta, Ga., new construction from becoming just another veterinary ofﬁce. Rabaut was called in by Dr. JoAnne Roesner, founder and medical director of Loving Hands, when the design was done on the architect’s plans, but not yet executed. “She told me, ‘I want you to stretch me. Take it to the next level’,” says Rabaut. “This was going to be her last hurrah to do it right.” When patients are of the four-legged variety, examination rooms take on a whole new meaning. “When you think about most exam rooms, they have plastic laminate counters,” says Rabaut. Pets require extra durable, stain-resistant materials, so custom millwork was designed for each exam room. During a typical veterinary exam, a doctor, the pet and its owner will be in the room simultaneously. The exam table ﬂips up for better access to the pets, allowing easy adjustments for animals of varying sizes. The doctor sits on a stool along one side of the table, and there are built-in benches, which are intentionally immobile and also provide storage, along the other side for the owner. The reception area considers staff as well as patients. Dr. Roesner’s one hope was to break out of the “bus station waiting area with bus station furniture,” explains Rabaut. The elevated front desk accommodates the two staff currently behind the desk, as well as a possible third in the future. “There were a lot of talks on the innards of the desk,” says Rabaut. “Check-in, check-out and retail is going on at the same time.” A wood-paneled drop ceiling deﬁnes the “zoned areas” where patients and owners have designated space and where dogs and cats can stay apart if they must. “A lot of areas have sealed concrete ﬂoors, for the hose-it-down factor. Durability and the ability to be forgiving of accidents were important,” says Rabaut. Slate was used in the reception area, with satin stainless square inserts. Fabric speciﬁcation for the reception furniture was a difﬁcult approval process, as materials that would withstand claws had to be chosen. “The project took a lot of persuasion to visualize and get materials,” recalls Rabaut. “The whole thing, though, was really about more efﬁcient exams, making staff more efﬁcient and breaking apart from a medicinal feel.” i 34 icon january/february/09 the magazine of the american society of interior designers Photos © Rabaut Design Associates
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ASID Icon - January/February 2009
ASID Icon - January/February 2009
Getting it Right
Design for Life
ASID Icon - January/February 2009
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