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A Perfect Fit

Office design invites walk-in traffic

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Jan. 2004 — When Dr. David Tripp of Alberta, Canada, decided to buy a new office for his practice, he found the perfect location — the Pedway.

The Pedway is a system of walkways that connect the buildings in downtown Alberta to each other so that individuals do not have to go outside during the cold weather. The walkways have areas set aside for retail and restaurants, and around 3,000 people walk through them and by Tripp’s new office every day.

Tripp bought his office as an empty space, and turned to office designer Tim Stensrud of Tim Stensrud Design to help him fill it. Some of the key points that Tripp felt he had to have were:

  • Workspace. Every treatment room had to be big enough to accommodate a full physical exam. None of the rooms are smaller than 13×11 feet.
  • Visibility and openness. Because it is in a retail space, Tripp wanted people walking by to be able to see in and get a sense of a busy but inviting office.

    All of the ceilings are 10.5 feet high and the front entry area was designed to create slight congestion. Tripp said that his congestion idea worked a little too well though; if he had it to do over, he would give a little more space to that area.

  • Lightning. With the high ceilings, lighting was a key factor. Tripp did not want harsh lights or direct lighting shining in his patients’ eyes. Instead, Tripp and Stensrud designed the lighting so that it is almost entirely reflected off the ceiling and walls for a soft, soothing effect.
  • Color scheme. When it came time to choose a color scheme, Tripp and Stensrud first choose the carpet, then the upholstery. Stensrud then provided several palettes that he thought would work, and Tripp choose the one that provided a soothing, comforting atmosphere.

Since Tripp opened this office in October of 1997, he has seen a huge increase in the number of walk-ins and new patients. He now has 3-4 new patients per week, and anticipates that number to increase.

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