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Embracing cheerful colors and Fear-Free flow

dvm360dvm360 August 2023
Volume 54
Issue 8
Pages: 48
Kansas City

Showcasing the 5 merit award winners of our 2023 Hospital Design360 Competition

Our 2023 Hospital Design360 Competition named 5 merit award winners: 405 Vet Animal Hospital in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Ambassador Animal Hospital in Greenville, South Carolina; Dr. Treat in San Francisco, California; The Cat Hospital of Media in Media, Pennsylvania; and Veterinary Specialty Center in Bannockburn, Illinois. Here is a closer look at each of these merit award recipients:

405 Vet Animal Hospital

Photo credit: 405 Vet

Photo credit: 405 Vet

405 Vet Animal Hospital is a small-animal veterinary practice that treats dogs and cats, as well as exotics, including the following:

  • Lizards, snakes, caimans, and amphibians
  • Chinchillas and guinea pigs
  • Turtles and tortoises
  • Mice and rats
  • Parrots, parakeets, and other birds
  • Chickens and turkeys
  • Pot-bellied pigs
405 Vet treatment room.

405 Vet treatment room.

The practice has an extensive range of services that they provide for clients including, but not limited to, acupuncture, reproductive care, surgery, telehealth, and urgent and emergency care. Jarrod Roach, DVM, the owner of 405 Vet, has been practicing in the Oklahoma City area since 2008 and founded the hospital in 2017. In the past 5 years, 405 Vet has grown into a 6-doctor practice and moved into a newly built 12,000 sq ft, state-of-the-art veterinary hospital.

In its contest application, 405 Vet said, “Right out of the gate, we wanted a design we had never seen before.” So, the clinic opted for designs that were unique and modern. “[We used] insulated glass and door frames to add to the sound control.”

Ambassador Animal Hospital

Ambassador Animal Hospital is a full-service animal hospital that offers wellness exams, diagnostic and surgical services, dental care, and laser therapy for dogs and cats.

“The interior and exterior have a fun appearance with bright colors. The main owner, Elizabeth [Alexander, DVM], wanted to bring in brighter and happier colors, so there’s a bright blue on the exterior. She also wanted to use a natural cedar siding, which brings in a sense of warmth and comfort,” Katie Carroll, AIA, NCARB, senior project architect at SHLTR Architects, said in an interview with dvm360. Carroll also mentioned that the hospital has several dog and cat graphic art displayed on the walls to add more joy to the design.

Ambassador reception desk.

Ambassador exam room corridor.

Alexander told dvm360 that she especially loves the practice’s treatment room. “The treatment room is just so big, and I love the big, tall ceiling and the windows—being able to actually see that daylight is awesome. [It’s] something we didn’t have at the old building,” she said. Alexander also expressed that she loves the flow of the hospital, from the moment you walk into the lobby to the treatment room and surgical section.

Dr. Treat

Dr. Treat entrance way.

Dr. Treat treatment room.

Dr. Treat is a membership-based veterinary clinic offering unlimited office visits in primary and urgent care for patients with a yearly subscription payment. “The whole design inspiration in the design palette for this Dr. Treat location is based on our brand colors, which is the tuxedo effect. There’s the black and white for a modern design, but with a pop of color in the heart that’s in our logo,” Hetal Shah, co-founder and chief experience officer at Dr. Treat, said in an interview with dvm360.

To incorporate Fear Free elements, “the feature wall is used in an aesthet- ically designed way to act as a natural divider between dog seating and cat seating. The cat nook is tucked behind the wall, and that leads right into the cat exam room. With the dog seating, the flow was designed so cats and dogs don’t cross paths,” Shah said. “My favorite design feature is the way we’ve designed the flow of the clinic...it’s the floor plan and how we [use less] square footage to incorporate all the essential needs of a veterinary clinic that typically go into a [larger] facility.”

The Cat Hospital of Media

The Cat Hospital boarding area.

The Cat Hospital boarding area.

As a full-service feline medicine–focused veterinary clinic, The Cat Hospital of Media has a full range of specialties to treat its feline patients. “We converted a mid-1800s Victorian home into a veterinary hospital, so the design was a huge undertaking for us and our architect. For the exterior, we wanted to keep the Victorian look of the hospital but modernize it. [We did the same thing for] the interior. For example, we kept the original staircase and redid it, but then added modern touches,” Christine Kirnos, VMD, CVA, owner and medical director of The Cat Hospital of Media, said in an interview with dvm360.

“The biggest design aspect I’m most proud of is we made every decision in the design by thinking of it from the cat’s point of view. What would make the cat more comfortable and make our hospital as cat friendly as it could be? We didn’t put any white in here because cats don’t like white or fluorescents—even our ceilings are painted,” she said.

Keeping staff in mind, Kirnos also mentioned that the building has a quiet mediation room for staff to be able to take a second away from a stressful workday and recharge.

The Cat Hospital of Media before and after exterior.

The Cat Hospital of Media before and after exterior.

Veterinary Specialty Center

Veterinary Specialty Center (VSC) offers 24-hour emergency and critical care and has a website function, “Get in Line for the ER,” so clients and patients can wait in the comfort of their home before coming into the hospital. Aside from emergency care, VSC also provides internal medicine, oncology, rehabilitation, and more. The veterinary team consists of more than 45 veterinarians, several of which are board certified in various veterinary specialties.

VSC lobby.

Photo credit: Veterinary Speciality Center

“Noise control in the waiting room and client spaces is accomplished through an extensive use of acoustic materials in the walls and ceilings. A sound engineering firm was engaged to help with the design and construction as a vital part of our desire for WELL certification. There is an abundance of beautiful live plant walls that help absorb sound and filter the air,” VSC told dvm360 in its contest application.

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