Independent Optometrists Rawlinsons wanted to expand their optical business by extending their ground floor Victorian house practice. The ambition – to increase patient footfall and overall capacity – with more clinical space, extra testing rooms, and larger retail space.
Retail Experience Design was asked to complete the space planning (including space reconfiguration) and technical drawings for the building development and the new design and interior for the practice.
Retail Experience Design visited the practice to understand the space and produce vital schematic plans. In doing so, it was apparent the increase of space could be achieved without the front building extension Rawlingsons intended, therefore avoiding unnecessary building works and significant costs.
With the exploration of the practice, Retail Experience Design identified the additional space could be achieved with the reconfiguration of the existing ground floor and the transfiguration of the building's second-floor – a disused and antiquated storage space.
The project was more than a standard interior design and fit-out, to achieve the additional space and transform the almost, derelict second floor, complex space planning, structural and building modifications were necessary, involving structural engineering and architectural expertise. The complex space planning considered patient flow, accessibility, clinical suite requirements as well as retail experience.
The second floor needed completely remodeling and the interior design was crucial in achieving the transformation, including layout, lighting, materials, flooring, and colours. As a Victorian House practice, the challenge was to avoid patients feeling like they were walking upstairs into an old disused bedroom – the patient/ customer experience across the two floors needed to feel holistic and connected.
What we delivered
By utilizing Rawlinson’s existing space, Retail Experience Design successfully achieved a two-floor trading practice, meeting the space requirements and interior design needed for the growth and expansion of Rawlinson’s practice, but without the significant building costs of a front building extension.
The ground floor was converted to Rawlinson’s dedicated retail area – the additional space allowing for the creation of customer touchpoints. A sophisticated interior design scheme sensitive to the period architecture, included Victorian-style floor tiles with contrasting floor finishes to create retail formation as well as the application of light pastel colouring, large-format mirrors, glass displays, and a faux living wall to achieve a fresh and airy space.
Whilst one testing room remained on the ground for DDA compliance, the new clinical suite was re-located to the second floor. To create a light, fresh, and modern clinical feel, unlike the ground floor, the remodelling and interior design needed to deflect from the period architecture – including lowered ceilings, strategically located partitions, flooring, and the overall design and approach to the aesthetics.