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urban orthodontistry

This week, AOArch was fortunate to sign a design agreement with Nelson Orthodontics. We’re thrilled to get started. These opportunities are always about relationships, from the referral to the success of the process. I have completely enjoyed my interactions with the staff and leadership of this successful, multi-site practice. They deeply care for and understand their clients, from the patient in the chair to the family in the waiting room. And, they value their staff. I love hearing program elements that include deliberate intentions to serving needs of the staff, so that they can serve the needs of their clients.

Architecture happens at that point of connection between a place where you want to be and a building that does what it has to do. It’s between Sullivan’s “form and function” and Vitruvius’ “firmness, commodity, and delight”. It’s spaces that work and spaces that feel. So here’s my quote – places that are and places that create. That purpose is nowhere more obvious than in this orthodontist’s office, and I’m thrilled by a client who knows that connection.

As always, we’re starting with history, and then the response to the site. The other locations have a deliberate sense of design and comfort that we’re building upon. The new site, within a new commercial development, has views and light and height that put demands on the layout and answer many of the questions for the process. As we begin schematic drawings, I take very real delight in watching the programmatic use of space frame and extend the virtues of the site, and then watching how those virtues make the functional space better. It’s a benevolent give and take.

And then function. Our reference point is restaurants – a way to look like a comfortable salon while performing like a factory. This office has an astounding rate of turnover, of service and refined business process. And yet, you watch mothers reading magazines, confident in the care their children are receiving. Kids play video games, while preparing for their turn in the chair. Staff is completely professional and confident in their routine. And the architecture creates that opportunity. We think immediately of traffic, workflow, and process that can predict overflow. The design budget is spent strategically at the nodes in that process.

It’s easy to say that design is universal, that it’s a matter of scale, from house to city, even to the point of Corbu’s machine for living. The orthodontist reminds me of my goals for Raleigh – this need for beautiful nodes and traffic patterns. As we design, we have opportunity to apply those universal principles and be informed by those lessons of scale.

Andy Osterlund AIA | LEED AP
Andrew Osterlund, Architect, PLLC
19 W Hargett Street, Suite 700-A | Raleigh, NC 27601
(919) 889 6823 | | TWITTER: aoarch

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Osterlund Architects is a full-service architecture and interior design firm, committed to our clients and their work from concept through construction, and through to their next opportunity. Our firm has expertise in all project phases, including programming, pre-design and planning through construction administration and closeout, as well as interior design, including furniture, fixtures and equipment (FFE) services.

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