Our latest completed project, Uptown Family Vision, is open for business and their Grand Opening is this very evening. Preview the space in these great images if you’re planning to stop by, or see this as an overview of the project if you won’t be there in person.
This new optometrists office is just a hop, skip and Metra stop away from us, in Park Ridge, Illinois. When Jean and Alex Nham came to us with their plans for a new clinic and glasses show room, they already had the perfect location (central and accessible) in a great building with a lot of history. Interested in doing things the “right” way with lots of design forethought, they wanted us to help them maximize the space and bring a clean modern look to the business. Here are photos of the resulting design (courtesy of photographer Christopher Bradley).
The pendant light over the reception desk is a custom piece by Ted Harris Lamps. Ted specializes in making beautiful and arresting lights from found objects. In this case the curving strips of steel suggest old fashioned glasses frames – a whimsical complement to the racks of frames on display across the room.
The light-filled reception area is filled with warm toned wood. The gleaming floors are a mix of reclaimed tropical hardwoods – pallet and crate materials – salvaged by Viridian in Portland, Oregon. The oak ceiling of the pretest tech area (behind the glasses display) is repurposed barn roof sheathing provided by Carlson’s Barnwood. The wood panels lining the office and exam room hallway are a a thin veneer of rift sawn white oak over panels of sustainably managed fast-growing soft woods. The weathered beams concealing light coves along the hallway (below) are also salvaged from Illinois barns. The overall effect: glowing wood surfaces that come guilt free.
The pressed tin ceiling is original to the building and was one of our favorite features of the existing space. A few areas were in bad shape, so we relocated squares from the few drop-ceilinged areas to patch and fill. With a new paint job it feels good as new, bounces natural light around open areas and turns the exposed beam and air ducts into features of the space.
The white oak fitting station counters have “live edge” slab wood tops meaning that slices cut from the center of a tree and preserve the organically curving edge of the trunk at the side. In this case, the counters are composed of three different cuts, joined smoothly together (you can see the radiating tree rings at the cut edge). The custom mirrors mounted on the counters are edged in LED light strips for a little boost to natural lighting (photos below by moss).
Custom shelves in lightly stained ash line the fitting area to display glasses. They are mounted directly to the north wall, but at the west side of the room they turn, suspended by fabricated steel supports that mount to floor and ceiling. This leaves the pretest area open to the view (and light) of the front windows behind them. Each shelf is fronted by a felt wrapped block to protect and feature the frames on display.
A Peek into our Design Process
Before we began the space was generally a blank slate – lovely tin ceiling aside – so we turned to our design research for inspiration. We were thrilled to dive into this and had a lot of fun learning about the history of optometry and the requirements of a modern eye doctor’s office. Find out more about that design process here: COMING SOON: UPTOWN FAMILY VISION IN PARK RIDGE – YOU’LL WANT TO MAKE A PASS AT THESE GLASSES.
We also got to dig into the design for their logo, exterior signage and packaging. We’ll explore that process in an upcoming post so stay tuned for it soon.
Working with older buildings always entails exciting surprises and annoying pitfalls; 118 Main Street was no different. The building was very out-of-square (making many challenges for the contractors) and the original wood floor we’d hoped to salvage was … hopelessly flawed (replaced with reclaimed flooring). However, we did discover some history hidden behind existing walls.
Check out our progress post, UPTOWN FAMILY VISION: CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS REPORT, for more pictures and stories about construction.
The final photo shoot day went very well. Here are a few atmospheric Instagram images to capture interesting details and behind the scenes process images:
General Contractor: Siegle Construction Inc
Custom Furniture and Built ins: Fricano Construction
Wood Flooring: Jakarta Market Blend by Viridian
Wood Ceiling and Hall Timbers: Carlson’s Barnwood
Veneer Panels: Recon Veneer by Sierra Forest Products
Reception Pendant: custom design by Ted Harris
Display Area Lighting: Albax Downlights by Schoolhouse Electric Supply
Glasses Lighting: LED track heads by WAC Lighting
Exam Room Lighting: Albeo Linear Low Bay by GE