On the Surface
Jeannie Rosenfeld -- Interior Design, 11/1/2006 12:00:00 AM
Neil Sadick, an MD in New York, is board-certified in four disciplines: dermatology, cosmetic surgery, hair transplants, and internal medicine. As a pioneer in the field of antiaging—with a progressive practice that caters to a tony clientele—he jumped at the chance to buy a Park Avenue office when it came on the market. He also saw the 4,000-square-foot space as an opportunity to leave the dark wood and leather of his previous office behind.
The Sadick Dermatology Center, a $2 million facility accommodating medical and skin-care services as well as an academic research center, is by health-care newcomer Beardslee Waites Architects. So, to ensure that the finished space would be both clinical and calming, the architects started by analyzing patient input. Among the anxiety-producing sights patients preferred to avoid were surgical equipment and staff activity outside operating rooms.
"The environment is sterile, technically, but not lifeless," principal Jody Andrew Waites says. Every detail was conceived to reduce stress, starting with the neutral palette. In reception, the desk and floor are gray poured epoxy resin, an antimicrobial material used in swimming pools and locker rooms. Here, the smooth glossy surface works to luxurious effect.
A painting based on anatomical diagrams from the Encyclopedia Britannica inspired the mural in reception's waiting area. Printed on plastic laminate, the composition clads two entire walls, conveying, Sadick says, that his facility is "at the crossroads of science and beauty." The other notable artworks on the premises hang in Sadick's private office: a pair of Andy Warhol drawings of a surgeon and test tubes.
Ultimately, though, art makes way for technology. Infrared sensors allow hands-free washing. Window shades descend with the push of a button. An on-site photography lab provides before-and-after 3-D imaging.
Given the multifaceted nature of the practice, the layout maximizes flexibility and discretion. Both staff meetings and patient consultations can take place in two rooms right off reception. The waiting area doubles as a training center when Sadick hosts dermatological symposiums. While patients and other visitors are seated there, a rear passageway enables staff to circulate and enter the operating room out of sight.
Besides the hospital-grade OR, where face-lifts, hair transplants, and liposuction take place, the facility boasts four medical-procedure rooms and three aesthetics rooms. In all seven, the architects hid equipment behind white-painted pocket doors that slide open silently. Individual iPod stations, unobtrusive lighting, and radically comfortable treatment chairs enhance the spa sensation.
Furniture in nonmedical areas is modernist, with an emphasis on mesh, marble, and stainless steel. White Compact sofas by Charles and Ray Eames and Tulip tables by Eero Saarinen cluster in the waiting area; chairs originally designed for the U.S. Navy line up there during symposiums. As principal Scott Beardslee says, "Timeless pieces ground the design." Ensuring that the office, like its clientele, ages gracefully.