Thoughtful design elements enhance learning in Veterinary Spectrum of Care Clinic

Wellogy Principal and Architect Rebecca Fox, AIA, LEED® AP, led the team to complete the Frank Stanton Veterinary Spectrum of Care Clinic at The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine, a project celebrating its first anniversary. Becky shares some insights on this unique hands-on learning facility and the thoughtful design elements that encourage and enhance learning and wellness.

What was the basis of the design for this facility? 

Student learning is the focus of the entire facility. Frank Stanton, the primary donor for the facility, realized that a broader approach is necessary to make a difference in veterinary care. He believed in teaching the future veterinarians how to do/treat more, address the entire spectrum of care, and serve clients from all socioeconomic backgrounds. The program also includes an area for community outreach. We incorporated a garage for their outreach vehicle and secure storage for when companies donate goods, whether dog food, veterinary medicine, or other supplies.

Becky Fox, AIA, LEED® AP, Project Manager for the Frank Stanton Veterinary Spectrum of Care Clinic. Photo by Brad Feinknopf.

What were some of the challenges with designing this facility?

Wellogy was the facilitator of bringing a cohesive design with the many vital professionals involved. One of the things we do best is to bring together the best possible team for every project. We worked with BDA (Building Design for Animals) to focus on particular veterinary needs and collaborated with Bostwick Design Partnership on the exterior design. Additionally, there were civil, structural, MEP engineers, landscape architects, university stakeholders, sustainability stakeholders, FFE procurement, and CMR, among crucial players on the team. With a large project team and a global pandemic with changing market and workforce conditions, we had to lead with focus and endurance to the end goal of opening on budget and on time. 

The unique way OSU approached the design of this project was to have the veterinarian (or they saw them as a coach) take a step back and allow the student to experience the responsibility and accountability of assessing the patient and their needs and coming up with a care plan in a safe zone. The coach or veterinarian would observe from an adjacent room out of sight, which is different from having the coach assist or stand beside the student.  

Canine exam room. Photo by Brad Feinknopf.
Coach or veterinarian observing from an adjacent room out of sight. Photo by Brad Feinknopf.

One of the biggest challenges in the design of the facility was acoustics. We needed to make sure that when the student was in the exam room with the client and patient, the veterinarian/professor in the observation room could see and hear the activity (cameras and microphones). Observation is also just as important when the student comes back into the staff/vet tech space or the observation room. Clinical staff noises must not transmit back to the animal owners to maintain privacy for sensitive matters. 

What are some of the unique design concepts?

The facility includes unique exam rooms – (2) feline exam rooms on a separate HVAC system because cats can tell when dogs are around – those pheromones get around! We made feline-specific exam rooms and a dedicated waiting room for them too. There is a driving force in veterinary practice to keep animals calm during visits. It’s difficult for a vet to examine an animal if they are nervous or anxious. 

There are also exam rooms specific for behavioral animals. Not all dogs are friendly to other canines, may be traumatized, or they could have an issue being around other animals, so there is a special side entrance created for any behavioral animal. Not only does this help keep the animal calm during a visit, but it also is easier on the dog owner. There is also an isolation exam room with a dedicated entry. If you have a contagious animal (for example, a puppy that has parvo), they can come through a separate entrance. That entrance leads to an isolation exam room with a special procedure room, isolation holding (with a dedicated janitor’s closet), and a unique isolation yard outside. There are also special HVAC considerations in the isolation area to maintain negative airflow. Views can be had from the treatment room into this isolation bay so that vets can keep an eye on them if they need to, and there are accommodations for both felines and canines in this area.

Feline exam room. Photo by Brad Feinknopf.

Views were a significant consideration in the design of the facility. Students have their Learning Conference Room immediately adjacent to the Treatment Room. If a veterinarian needs any additional assistance or wants to show them something unique as a learning opportunity, they are close and can see who is available. Likewise, it allows the student to do any research or study when there is downtime between patients. From the Treatment Room, which is the hub of the facility, students and staff can see into the Isolation Ward, the Feline Ward, the Student LCR, the Dental Suite, the Recovery Room, and Induction. Dr. Fingland, Executive Associate Dean and Professor Executive Director, and Chief Medical officer for the Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicinecame up with the surgery window view for students. The window into the surgery suite is just off one of the secure access-only entrances for staff, students, and faculty. It looks into the surgery suite without being close-up- what better way to be excited about what they are learning!                     

Viewing window into the surgery suite.
Surgery suite with student observation window, top left. Photo by Brad Feinknopf.

Wellogy teamed with Bostwick Design Partnership to develop the active learning classrooms. This extensive classroom is an innovative way of teaching that embraces an interactive learning approach, which is different from sitting in front of a lectern and lecturing to students in chairs. By dividing the groups into individual sections (groupings of 8), each has a monitor and whiteboard, groups can be interactive, and teachers can move between groups.  

Interactive learning classroom. Photo by Brad Feinknopf.

The design and construction were a team collaboration to realize OSU’s (and Frank Stanton Foundation’s) vision. BDA (Building Design for Animals) played a vital role in our team’s success with their knowledge of over 1,000 completed projects in animal care. 

Building Facts:

•Total SF: 34,000

•Year Designed: 2019-2020

•Year Completed: 2021

• Cost: $17 M

Team-Role:

Wellogy- Architect of Record

Bostwick Design Partnership- Design Architect

BDA- Small Animal Design Consultant

Korda- Survey and Civil Engineering

Jezerinac Geers- Structural Engineering

Osborn Engineering- MEP & Technology/ Security Engineering

Edge Group- Landscape Architecture

How do you say Wellogy?

Davis Wince, Ltd. is now Wellogy! Our new brand reflects who we are and who we aspire to become. Wellogy has an implied meaning, “study of well” – and well has multiple meanings to us including “in good health” as in well-being or wellness, “with skill or aptitude” as in doing an activity well, and “source, origin (of water)” and the notion of ‘drawing from the source’- addressing the inspirational nature and rigor of design. How do you say Wellogy? Watch our video to learn!

How do you bring new life to a mall?

Wellogy partnered with the Adena Corporation to bring new life to the former Lazarus department store in the Richland Mall. The major renovation from retail to healthcare provides a new maternity unit for the growing Avita Ontario Health System in the Mansfield, Ohio area.

Azure of Palm Coast: Designing for Wellness in Senior Living

Wellogy Senior Living Project Manager Scott Flickinger recently led the team to complete Azure of Palm Coast Senior Living. Located minutes from Florida beaches and in a thriving community, Scott shares some insights on what it takes to design senior housing in a hurricane area while considering all the needs and well-being of the residents.

What do you wish everyone knew about designing a Senior Living Project?

Designing a Senior Living facility requires immense planning and execution of the smallest details to provide safety and comfort for its residents. Every design decision must come from the user’s perspective first, every detail matters. Providing flush floor transitions to eliminate trips & falls, providing rounded corners to reduce scrapes and bruises, and providing frequent places to stop and relax is essential in providing safety for senior residents. As a designer, you must fully immerse yourself and make design decisions from the end users’ perspective. The health and well-being of the residents are a vital component in every design decision.

What are some of the thoughtful design elements included in this environment for seniors?

•The design includes a safe outdoor courtyard for the use memory care community, giving delicate residents a safe environment to enjoy the beautiful Florida weather.

•Common area patios were essential as part of the design to allow residents to play, relax and connect with the entire community.

•Seniors can enjoy a game of bocce ball on the custom bocce court, enjoy a scenic walk around the nature preserve, connect over a game in the activity room, watch the big game at the sky bar, or get the blood flowing at the indoor gym.

•Large expansive windows are a key feature throughout the design to connect and view the outdoors.

What were some of the challenges of this project?

Designing a facility near the beach can be challenging, especially in Florida with its severe weather. The design of the building protects all its residents in a hurricane event using impact doors & windows and a concrete and steel structure.

Building Facts:

•# of units: 112 Total; 31 Memory Care & 81 Assisted Living

•Total SF: 93,891

•Year Designed: 2018

•Year Completed: 2021

•Cost: $21 M

Check out more photos of Azure at Palm Coast.

Davis Wince is now Wellogy!

Change is good, especially when fueled by growth and an impactful purpose. We’ve evolved into a notable firm with a diverse portfolio of higher education, health + wellness, and senior living clients to uniquely author learning, healing, and living environments. Our firm’s passion for designing healthier environments sparked a change and a focus on studying healthy design and developing ways to infuse wellness into everyday living; our brand now reflects this purpose.

The need we see from our design discoveries, the client relations we have formed, and our passion for creating healthy environments drive our purpose. Market forces and their underlying value reinforce the demand to design healthier, more connected ways to live. We are championing a healthier world through intentional design.

Our new brand reflects who we are and who we aspire to become. Wellogy has an implied meaning, “study of well” – and well has multiple meanings to us including “in good health” as in well-being or wellness, “with skill or aptitude” as in doing an activity well, and “source, origin (of water)” and the notion of ‘drawing from the source’- addressing the inspirational nature and rigor of design. Our new tag line reflects what we are passionate about- designing for life. 

Projects that directly impact well-being inspire us and encourage our curiosity about the possibilities for a healthier future. We are proud of our past and the people and projects that helped us prepare for this change in our firm’s history. The rest of our story starts today, one in which we are more thoughtful and intentional in designing for life.

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