What comes to mind when you think of commercial space planning? One thing that comes to mind for me is the fact that it is an art and a science combined. Ever work at a place where day-to-day functionality flowed seamlessly, yet there were no compromises on aesthetics or design? Many times you get one or the other, seldom do you get both.
When we do construction consulting for our clients, we put functionality at the top of our list. We never compromise on design, we simply pay close attention to every detail so we accomplish both. It all starts with the framing. Most would think that it starts with the drawings, and we try to identify as much as possible while the blueprints are being worked out, but when you walk through a site being framed is when you really start to see the functionality of it. It is absolutely the most important time of construction and space planning phase. When we are in the planning stages of a custom construction project, we put ourselves in our clients shoes. We think of the problems that may arise and we fix them before they happen.
One of our recent projects faced us with the challenge of consulting through the planning process of a medical center for a group of physicians who worked at more than one location. Can you imagine being one of the doctors and having to function at multiple locations? I would forget where I am, walk into the closet thinking it was the bathroom, or while in the exam room look for my tools in a different drawer.
The most logical solution to the medical center problem was to mirror all centers to one another for functionality purposes. They are different, but for functionality they are the same. All exam rooms are identical in terms of placement, you can find the sink, the trash, and tools in the same place. Even the physicians offices are the same. All the elements of design were chosen to be different for every location but still accomplish the same branding goal; a luxurious, and calm ambiance. All of which could only be possible by meticulous space planning.