A family-friendly veterinary facility


The open atmosphere of this hospital is like a walk in the park for pets.

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Pathways lead to the main entrance of the hospital, and the heavily wooded lot creates a park-like feel.

When clients say, “Do you want to go to the park?” to their pets, they might really be going to visit Dr. Rex Sentell at Palm City Animal Medical Center. This Palm City, Fla., practice evokes the open, airy feeling of being outside. That’s how Dr. Sentell designs his hospitals, starting with 2,000 square feet back in 1981, all the way to today’s 14,347-square-foot beauty.

Multiple courtyards on the property, two outdoor play areas, a large rock fountain in the lobby, greenery throughout the practice, park bench seating, and a mural depicting a grassy park enhance the park-like setting.

“When clients walk through the doors here, we think of them as family, and we designed the practice to foster that feeling,” Dr. Sentell says.

For example, Dr. Sentell provided shared exam room hallways that promote interactions between doctors and clients. “Instead of leaving clients alone, wondering when they would be seen, they now have full view of all the action and constant acknowledgement from the staff,” he says. This design element also cut down on circulation space, and thus, construction costs.

“I have always wanted to do better for our clients,” Dr. Sentell says. “I’ve added services as I’ve expanded, ensuring that each area enhances the other.”

Photos by Thomas Winter, Thomas Winter Photography

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The reception area is more reminiscent of a park than a lobby. Bench seating, a water fall and bronze statues, greenery, and loads of natural light set the scene. A mural of a park setting graces the archway above the reception desk.

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Exam room

The practice features 10 exam rooms, with one larger than the rest. The rooms use cushioned bench seating with window perches for pets to enjoy a view of the outdoors. The largest exam room has a fold-down exam table and a couch for client seating, with a separate exit for grieving clients.

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Dog runs

The practice offers luxury dog suites, each designed around a different vacation destination. They also offer standard runs for boarding, along with a stacked run system that helps maximize floor space. A dedicated door leads to an enclosed exercise yard with a synthetic lawn under the covered porch, and real grass in the open areas.

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Floor area was maximized in the treatment areas by combining circulation space with functional space. The open treatment area, with large skylights overhead, provides plenty of space around the multiple island style treatment and workstations. The associates' office is directly attached to the treatment area.

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Palm City Animal Medical Center

3090 S.W. Mapp Road

Palm City, FL

(772) 283-0920

Fax (772) 283-0978



Owner: Rex Sentell, DVM

Associates: 4 full-time and 1 part-time

Hospital team: 29 full-time and 5 part-time

Practice style: 100 percent small animal

Building size: 14,347 square feet

Construction: $2 million (building only)

Site improvement: $216,033

Professional fees: $303,194

Equipment: $566,671

Furnishings: $29,512

Computers: $79,371

Year built: 2011

Primary architect:

David Gasser

BDA Architecture

901 Lamberton Place NE

Albuquerque, NM 87107

(800) 247-5387

Fax (505) 858-0111



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Click here to enlarge floor plan

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