Coming Soon: Uptown Family Vision In Park Ridge – You’ll Want To Make a Pass at these Glasses


We’ve just gotten word that the permit is ready for pickup at our latest project, Uptown Family Vision – a new optometrist’s office located just across from the Metra station in Park Ridge.  Today, let us introduce you to the project. 

Note: this project is now complete.  Check out final photos HERE!

This design was full of interesting challenges from the start.  Our clients had chosen a great location in the heart of Park Ridge’s charmingly transit friendly business district and were engaged from day one in a total design process.  We explored logo possibilities, packaging design for glasses dispensed, studied options for unusual display cases and got to learn all about how to set up a proper optometrist’s office.  To top it off, the store front location is an older building with an original pressed tin ceiling (not in the greatest repair) that we get to rescue and preserve for future generations.

uptown family vision, park ridge location map

The building has some interesting details including a venerable and slightly beat-up hardwood floor we hope to preserve and the pressed tin ceiling we plan to repair to match the conditions of the recently renovated next-door tenant space.  Starting from that baseline – a tall, narrow space with a historic floor and ceiling we want to preserve, we dove right into design of a playful, sunny waiting area and eyeglasses retail space up front, and several compact and effective exam rooms and offices in back.

Design Research 

One of the perks of the architect’s job is constantly getting to research new parts of the world.  For Uptown Family Vision, we took a nose dive into the history, theory and equipment of optometry, looking for design inspirations and getting a feel for the requirements of a good optometrist’s office.

uptown family vision, optometry research

From there, we were able to dive right into some brain storm sketching.  Here are some early ideas.

Logos and Identity Branding

early logo sketches

Glasses Packaging

packaging ideas

Storefront window Signage

storefront designs

Plus we took the opportunity to sketch row upon row of glasses to think about issues like shelf spacing in the display area.  Its fun.


Developing the Design

From there, we rolled some of these concepts forward into specific layouts of the space, and designs for several of the built in furniture pieces that will anchor the waiting area and display shelving.  The waiting area will blend with glasses display – its always fun to try on new frames while wait for your appointment.  The optometrist’s office is the only medical appointment I show up early for instead of just on time.  We wrapped glasses display shelving along one wall and then used it as a visual screen to separate off the Pre-test Tech area from the rest. Fitting tables will have LED lit, frame-less mirrors for easy trying-on and adjustments.

waiting area fitting station

For the display shelves we needed something a little more sleek than the standard adjustable shelving available at any home office suply.  We tried a number of different mounting configurations and combinations of finishes before arriving at our preferred design of a powder coated steel bracket system to support an array of nine shelves running continuously along the north wall.  Here are just a smattering of the design experiments use to decide:

shelf options shelving sketch

So there you have it!  The project is nearly ready to begin construction – and you can expect a Construction Update / Peek Behind the Window Paper in a month or two. Uptown Family Vision will be open, and checking out prescriptions, before you know it.