By Danny Chan
How do you refresh the look of a highly visible clinic with a modest floor space and oodles of traffic exposure and business potential? That was the challenge for Dr Saeid Pedram and his partners at Pedram Dental Clinic as they sought to revamp their clinic based at Westfield Fountain Gate, a sprawling mall located in the outer South Eastern suburb of Melbourne. The behemoth complex in Narre Warren happens to be Australia’s second largest shopping centre.
Even though the 75-sqm. unit wasn’t small by shopping mall standards, the partners knew they needed all the space-saving ingenuity they could muster to pull off the three-chair surgery design they had envisioned. Armed with only a “basic hand-drawn plan”, the partners engaged Levitch Design Australia to flesh out their ideas and aspirations.
With more than 27 years of experience designing healthcare establishments, boasting a long list of dental clientele, the fitout company met Dr Pedram’s key criterion for possessing direct expertise. It helps too that Dr Pedram used to work in a clinic that was constructed and designed by LDA.
“I was very impressed by the look and feel of their design as well as the quality of furnishings. When the time came for us to find a fitout contractor for our own renovation, I couldn’t think of a better choice,” the clinician surmises.
As Dr Pedram had predicted, LDA’s dental fitout experience and ability to liaise independently with all relevant parties – including third-party contractors and Westfield’s building management team – proved invaluable. The communication process with the latter group was especially crucial, given the tight deadline as well as a string of building-specific rules and regulations to comply with.
“They gave us six weeks for what was typically an eight-week project. We completed the actual fit-out in only 5 weeks,” says Ben Barker, Project Manager at Levitch Design Australia.
“The design criteria from Westfield was very stringent and our designers worked well with the Westfield designer to achieve an excellent outcome.”
Although the contract was signed in April 2016, LDA was able to deliver ahead of schedule by July 2016. Amazingly, the fitout team took only four weeks for the design and five weeks to complete the entire construction. Perhaps even more outstanding was that they had achieved the speedy turnaround without compromising their reputation for designer aesthetics, quality work and great customer service.
From the outset, the handsome looking clinic doesn’t look the least out of place in the swanky locale, next to fancy eateries and fashion outlets. The high ceiling and protruding upper wall, tastefully wrapped by a veneer of narrow wooden planks, immediately stands out from behind a row of hanging lamps. The orange glow from the lamps, reflected by timbered surfaces, provide warm ambience in an otherwise brightly lit reception area. Squarish chairs, in alternating lime green and white, add a touch of pizzazz to the modern waiting area – looking particularly resplendent from the outside, viewed through large panelled glass windows.
Lest you conjecture that the generous reception/ waiting area had taken up too much available space, you needn’t have worried. The layout more than adequately apportioned for another three operatories (including a room dedicated for teeth whitening/ OPG), toilet, steri room, storage and staff area.
In fact, you may be surprised to find two medium sized surgeries with ample room around the treatment units and space left for wall-hugging cabinetry and working tables. From the Planmeca chair’s upholstery to the cuspidor bowl and selected drawers, the designer plays off varying blue tones against a dominant white theme with wooden accents. The result is a restful workplace with contemporary look and feel. The larger surgery, although using muted colours, somehow retain the same modish appearance. The teeth whitening/OPG room, looking spartan by comparison, is nonetheless a testimony to what a clever layout and space-efficient design can accomplish.
Beneath the glossy exterior, fine workmanship and quality finishes belie the time it took to construct them. Even Dr Pedram admits to having initial jitters: “Even though Levitch was confident that they could finish on time, I had my doubts at first.
“In the end, they not only made the deadline but so far, comments on the fitout, from both staff and customers, have been nothing but positive. Basically, every one who walks in is impressed by the fitout. We can see it on their faces,” he beams.
All that work rate and efficiency, Dr Pedram continues, is backed by genuine customer service. Keeping their clients abreast of the progress at every stage, LDA facilitated smooth back-and-forth communication, without skipping a beat at the construction end. The team also managed to stay very close to the set budget of $262K, going slightly over at $269K.
“From the start of our relationship with Levitch, we were already impressed with their professionalism and competitive pricing. Thankfully, they did not stop there but continually exceeded our expectations every step along the way,” the dentist attests.
“All I can say is that we are very happy with their work.”