Light Commercial

Braden Construction, Houlton, Wis.

Project location: River Falls, Wis.
Sq. ft. before: 7,940
Sq. ft. after: 11,152
Project cost: $555,000

The partners in a dental practice were experiencing some vigorous growth and were in need of some larger space. After much planning and research the doctors decided to update their early 1970s building and bring its appearance into the new millenium.

The new addition was designed to house their client space. With a new reception area, an expansive waiting room and a relaxing fish oasis, the customers feel pampered prior to sitting in the dentist’s chair.

Walls were moved to allow better staff flow and spaces were redesigned to match function. New bright-color finishes were incorporated throughout the treatment rooms and in and out of the halls.

But there were a couple of big challenges. The building sits in the middle of a watershed district that feeds a freshwater trout stream. Each move made was watched closely by the state natural resources department. Secondly, the construction had to take place in the middle of a functioning dental office, presenting a challenge keeping the environment clean, sterile and quiet.
The client and the architect kept the stream in mind as they designed the building and the general contractor, Braden Construction, took extra precautions by installing a silt fence.

The new addition part of the job did not impede the dentists office at all, but the remodeling work required some creativity. Trade contractors were scheduled at least disruptive times and rooms were sealed and vented with fresh air.

The judges agreed that the combination of a great finished product amidst some unusual challenges helped this project stand out in the light commercial design category.

“Both the interior and the exterior look great,” said one judge. “The interior looks like a hotel lobby and the fish tank adds a nice relaxed atmosphere.”

Heffner Architects
Alexandria, Va.

Kohler Homes Inc.
Burke, Va.

Honorable Mention:
Crowley Medical Office Interiors
Johnston, R.I.