Dr. Marc Olsen and wife/business partner Janine, owners of Olsen Ortho Studio, came to our firm looking for a building that focused on creating an experience for their orthodontia patients. They already had a solid understanding of their studio’s workflow and had selected a wonderful site that bordered a small creek. The more our team learned about Olsen Ortho and the site, the more our building design focused on biophilia. Biophilic design seeks to connect humans to nature. We believe nature has a calming effect that is extremely beneficial to what can be a very mechanical experience, like wearing braces.
The Olsen Ortho experience was improved by blurring the lines between nature and building. The facility is oriented and shaped by the landscape, sunlight, street traffic, and workflow of the studio. The lobby connects two landscaped patios together and hosts a waterfall to help control acoustics. Orthodontia chairs have direct views of the creekside vegetation and are placed in a curve to allow for easy doctor supervision. Operations workflow was viewed as a circular rather than linear path; hence, user-specific circulation loops were designed into the plan for doctors, staff, and patients.
A significant part of our infusion of nature into buildings stems from our ability to remove or conceal unnecessary technologies. The interior design is clean and simple, and focuses on the parent-child relationship frequently occurring at an orthodontist’s office. Business operations are located upstairs, away from patients and guests. Mechanical and electrical rooms are isolated, away from all traffic. And even the loudspeakers are concealed by integrating them into gypsum wall board.