Dr. Joseph Kendrick wanted a clinic that would make an impression. Such a big impression that people would drive by and almost have a wreck. "I saw a lady the other day who drove by and then turned around and drove by again with her mouth hanging open, saying, 'Wow,'" he says.
Goal achieved. And when clients make it inside the front door, they see an inviting, comfortable, practical space where they feel right at home, he says. For one thing, the clinic is familiar to clients because the facility stands right where the old hospital once was. When the old clinic was demolished, the practice used an office building on the site as a temporary facility during construction. It's now attached to the new building by a hallway. With plenty of room for future expansion, this space houses the staff break room.
Lots of visibility also makes clients comfortable, Dr. Kendrick says. Windows (with blinds for optional privacy) provide views into grooming, and a glass door in the special procedures room gives clients a view of the high-tech equipment. A self-service retail store lets pet owners grab the food they need and pay at the reception desk.
Dr. Kendrick says he wanted the clinic's profit centers at the front of the building to raise clients' awareness of all the services the practice team offers. "It would pain me if we had these great facilities but nobody knew about them because they were hidden in the back," he says.
Give signage some space
Smile! "We haven't seen pet photography in any other hospital," says Dr. Joseph Kendrick. "We couldn't figure out why. So we went to Olan Mills, JCPenney, and Sears. They told us they don't photograph pets because workers' compensation doesn't cover the employees. It doesn't work for them in the same way because they don't have a captive audience. And the first time a pet crapped on the floor at Olan Mills, that would be the end of it. But in a veterinary clinic, you're used to cleaning up all the time. Our clients love the photo studio. They say, 'Boy, you guys do everything here.'"
To make sure he achieved his goals for the project, Dr. Kendrick did a lot of planning on his own before contacting an architect. "Most architects don't know how you want to practice medicine," he says. "I've practiced for 30 years and seen faults with my old clinics. I wanted to eliminate those faults with our new design."