Fastidious Melbourne dentist provides feedback on specialist fit out company
By Danny Chan
Three words were used to describe Levitch Design Australia’s contribution to a recent construction project: Streamline, modernize and illuminate. In fact they encapsulate the main goals of the initial brief given to the fit out firm. Judging from the outcome and feedback, the LDA team took the client’s set objectives to heart, notwithstanding expectations were exceeded along the way. A self-confessed “fussy” customer, Dr Fred Karalis wanted to give his existing premise on 31 Dunstan Street in Clayton a total facelift while making sure its original attributes were preserved. The owner of Dunstan Dental & Medical wanted to refresh his clinic’s decor to achieve an understated yet contemporary look and feel. Proposing clean lines and textured surfaces throughout the interiors, Dr Karalis wanted to create a restful environment that exudes modern charm. The decor and ambiance, the dentist maintains, should imbue the ethos of holistic care – an oasis of relaxation and calm. Instead of using dim lights to simulate spa-like conditions, the dentist wanted to make full use of abundant natural light to accentuate the warmth of its surrounds.
Learning about Levitch Design Australia from the website, dental publications and other dentists who have used their services, Dr Karalis did a fair share of research prior to engaging the firm’s services. With over 28 years’ experience, LDA is a prominent outfit in the design and construction of healthcare establishments. Their solid reputation for delivering complex projects on time and to exacting demands had preceded them, so the client’s expectations from the outset were pretty high. Dr Karalis was confident that LDA had an experienced design team with a firm grasp of commercial design principles and know how to incorporate design elements faultlessly. He believes that LDA’s past works show that they understand “what works for a clinical renovation and the pitfalls to avoid”. Nonetheless, the team still managed to impress the dentist with its professionalism whilst under pressure from the project’s wide-ranging scope of duties, including: Design principles, planning, scheduling, legal and building compliance, etc. “As dentists, we are trained to utilize appropriate specialities to attain the best outcome for our patients’ dental health. It is great to see similar principles undertaken for the design and renovation of our clinic,” Dr Karalis praises.
“Not only did the project start and finish on time, LDA’s specialised experience in the healthcare sector was evident throughout the project.” Just as Dr Karalis had envisioned, LDA exploited the qualities of the original 50s-era building. Rooms blessed with natural light – especially the north facing waiting room and south facing clinical areas – were appropriately solar illuminated, thanks to large panelled windows and secondary lights bouncing off white ceilings and bleach oak flooring. The windows at the reception area look out to a nature strip and tree-lined walkway, giving front desk staff and waiting patients a bit of greenery upon which to fix their wandering gaze. Playing off generic milky tones and timber shades, slate grey was chosen as the alternate hue, used sporadically on feature walls, decorative items and cabinet doors. Bright, varying tones of blue – as seen on soft lounging chairs at the waiting area and shiny cuspidor bowl in the surgery – provide just the right accents for each room. Optimised for light and space, each room is cleverly fitted with bespoke fixtures and furnishings that max out the floor space. As can be seen from L-shaped cabinets that are aligned to all available interior walls – in the consultation, surgery and steri rooms – every square inch is accounted for in the layout and design. Again, strategically placed windows beckon the surrounding nature into the rooms, making them seem even more airy and spacious. The result is a modern clinic, with all its technological trimmings, presented in a beautiful and relaxing sun-filled environment. In other words, the clinic has been “streamlined, modernised and illuminated” – exactly what the customer had ordered.
“From initial contact through to the design and project management, LDA had been thoroughly professional and reassuring. Mr Ash Pollard (main contact during the construction phase) was excellent to deal with and very patient – having to put up with a fussy client like me,” said Dr Karalis. “The most important cost saving was time – which is getting the project completed so we can move back and continue working. The team’s ability to deal with unforeseen items as well as equipment suppliers was an invaluable asset, especially in view of the tight deadline.” Asked if he would recommend Levitch Design Australia’s services, Dr Karalis replies almost matter-of-factly: “Our staff are proud to work in a modern efficient workplace and patients are impressed with the final result… absolutely!”