Designing a New Kind of Doctor’s Office

Construction is expected to begin in Zionsville for a new office that will house Dr. Rader’s independent practice. Hers will be among the growing trend of “cash-friendly” offices that offer health care services to patients who prefer to pay out-of-pocket rather than with an insurance-based plan. And she wanted the look of her office to share in that new way of thinking about the patient experience.

So we collaborated with Melinda McGee for her expertise in designing unique and upscale commercial spaces. Specializing in health care and higher education, Melinda is the owner of McGee DesignHouse, and her relationship with Curran Architecture goes back nearly two decades to the offices of Carson Design where she and Shawn both worked before opening their own firms.

We approached this project the way architects and designers usually do—with questions and quizzes for the client to help understand the client’s preferences and personality. Melinda also came armed with ideas.

Dr. Rader's Office Finish Materials[1] copy.

“I try to extract the client’s vision,” says Melinda. “Having imagery we can talk about from the start means we can quickly and accurately get to that vision. I’ve found if I say ‘blue,’ everyone has a different picture in their minds; it could be periwinkle blue, royal blue, navy. But because I come prepared, they can point to what I have and say, ‘Yes, that’s what I’m looking for.’ And we can move ahead with more confidence.

Following Dr. Rader’s vision, Shawn and Melinda designed a look that would capture the practice’s young, modern feel. The new space features bright colors, dynamic textures, contemporary light fixtures, and seating that is more evocative of a high-end lounge than a doctor’s waiting room.

“I’ve always had a real passion of making environments better for people in the health care world,” says Melinda. “For me, it’s about getting away from the older, institutional-type of space and creating a more relaxing, more encouraging environment.”

Throughout the process, the Curran and McGee teams collaborated and conferred whenever possible to ensure the space exceeded the client’s expectations. It’s a partnership that has always been productive, both for us and for our clients.

The grand opening of Dr. Rader’s new office is expected for summer 2015.

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