Moving north to take advantage of the Queensland sun is a common dream of many Australians, dentists included. For Drs Andrea and Brian James, however, the happily married couple with three children have done the opposite, moving from Cairns in FNQ to Bright in Victoria’s Alpine region.
Dr Andrea James is a general dentist, providing contemporary dental care in a very friendly and approachable manner. She completed a Bachelor degree in Nursing Science and enjoyed working in the areas of oncology, however, she had the opportunity to pursue Dentistry, her dental career started in 1990 as an assistant in Mackay and further down the track was accepted into the BDS program at the new James Cook University in Cairns. Dr Brian James is one of Australia’s foremost periodontists, providing high quality specialist care including implant placement. With the move south, he is now the only periodontist living and working in the northeast of Victoria, which is a true advantage for patients who require ongoing care and monitoring of gum and implant treatment.
When it came time to organise the new practice, Dr James called on old friend Sam Koranis, Managing Director of Medifit, who had been heavily involved with his first practice design and construction in Cairns ten years earlier. “It was great to hear from Brian again and to hear that both he and Andrea were doing well and were setting up a new practice in Victoria,” Mr Koranis said. “The even better news was that they wanted to use Medifit’s services again. “Andrea briefed us to create a warm, earthy and natural atmosphere for the new practice through the use of warm lighting and neutral colours. She wants to introduce artwork or features in orange and copper to add some personality to the space and to have an open, non-threatening inviting reception area with warm white light used throughout. “
The reception counter design was to be simple and professional with a drop-down portion for disabled patients to sign documents. The waiting area should be comfortable and homely with a mixture of different styles of furniture and a bench for a kids’ tablet station. Whenever possible, Andrea wanted us to use their logo ‘leaf and branch’ design.” From a practical perspective, the layout of the practice was to include a reception area, waiting room, administration office, consult room, Doctors’ office, IT store, four surgeries, a sterilisation area, lab, staff room, store room, OPG are and disabled and ambulant toilets.
The end result is flawless! The practice possesses a smooth flowing design where patients enter to the reception and waiting areas and feel comfortable with a warm and earthy atmosphere emulating the surrounding landscape of the Alpine area.
The Practice is non-confronting and quickly settles the patient prior to commencing their treatment. Featured stone cladding to the end of the counter creates an earthy texture and brings up colour to the reception area. Three copper pendant lamps brighten up the complete room and contrast with the rest of the waiting area chairs and design elements.
Additionally, the brown drop ceiling bulkhead bridges to the waiting area for an harmonious transition, accompanied by a rich chocolate brown carpet mirroring both shapes. Dark and warm timber flooring appears on the sides of the waiting room and at the end of the reception desk and fully extends towards the consult room corridor for a seamless transition. The long corridor projects each season of the year with a well-blended Alpine Dental logo and lettering incorporated to create smooth, fresh and appealing texture. Inside the consult rooms, a white finish is prevalent offering a clean, minimalist, professional look, contrasting with dark brown cabinetry. The sterilisation and laboratory area is open and located adjacent to the surgeries and includes plenty of storage. Externally, the building has rustic earthy colour stones applied to the front, contrasted with dark brown applied throughout windows and doors with a white three logo design incorporated in the front glazing, reinforcing the seasonal theme chosen by the doctors.
Andrea and Brian felt they could trust Medifit for this new project based on their previous experience in Cairns. As a company, Medifit has a true national presence and its extensive experience and growing portfolio of projects over 15 years give it significant credibility. The judgement proved true as Medifit delivered on all expected outcomes every step of the way.
“Medifit has recently completed a second practice fit out for me,” Dr Brian James said. “In 2006, they completed a three-chair fitout in a difficult location in Cairns. Our recent fit-out is slightly larger - four chairs - in a free-standing building in need of gutting to a shell and starting over. “The design process and attention to detail is the part of the process I enjoy most. The design staff at Medifit are creative, flexible, amenable to suggestions and really can’t try hard enough to meet the brief. “The process of renovation was well-managed and whilst not without hiccups, it was completed on the date expected. Any post-completion issues have been addressed and are being handled with grace and a ‘no problem’ attitude.’
“The project had its challenges with regard to the remote location and the condition of the premises, which was previously utilised as a retail store in the equine industry inclusive of selling saddles,” Mr Koranis said. “Medifit were up for the challenge and with the clients’ excellent brief, Medifit came up with a state-of-the-art facility that would fit in well within any upwardly mobile city location in Australia. We were very happy with the final outcome.”
“Our situation needed the expertise and on-site management afforded by Medifit, as I was not on-site during the process,” Dr Brian James said. “If this describes your situation, I would certainly suggest you consider using their services. Design, use of space and knowledge of the regulations and laws concerning practice fitout are their forte.”