2020 dvm360 Hospital Design Merit Award: VCA Irvine University Park Animal Hospital

April 1, 2020

Understanding the high cost of construction in California as well as the challenge of finding property suitable for a veterinary practice, Dr. Edward Cole and his wife, Pamela, sought to maximize what was available: a decades-old freestanding former IHOP restaurant structure. Thus, the tenant improvement project for the 5,615 SF VCA Irvine University Park Animal Hospital consisted of an interior rehabilitation and exterior shell remodel. After 45 years of practice ownership and a number of veterinary renovations performed together, the Coles would be establishing this new full-service veterinary hospital facility in Irvine, CA shortly before their retirement with the intention to sell to corporate ownership. rfa’s design followed suit, setting up the facility for longevity by ensuring a beautiful and functional veterinary hospital for future doctors, staff, and clients.

Exterior of VCA Irvine University Park Animal Hospital in Irvine, California

Throughout VCA Irvine’s warm and welcoming design, the use of natural materials and lighting enhance its bright and open feel. Native plants in the landscaping, interior finishes with fresh colors and special textures, numerous windows to promote daylighting, and enhanced acoustical control are signature components of rfa’s biophilic design for veterinary hospitals that can be found at VCA Irvine. Due to its soothing connotations of the outdoor environment, the impact of this design contributes to the well-being of hospital staff and the comfort of clients and pets in what is typically a stressful environment. In this way, VCA Irvine also meets the aesthetic expectations of the upscale community it serves and especially reflects a commitment to provide the highest quality of veterinary medicine.

In the hospital’s lobby, natural tile and stone flooring, granite countertops, and a natural-wood ceiling canopy set the calming tone that is carried throughout the rest of the facility. Six exam rooms each feature ample window treatments that bring in natural light in abundance. Interior clerestory windows further carry that light throughout the facility, and textured windows on doors afford staff efficient observation into different rooms and spaces. The surgery suite makes use of multiple large windows for the same purposes. In the canine kennels and cat ward, the sunshine that comes through skylights and large windows reduces patient stress.

In addition to attractive design, VCA Irvine University Park Animal Hospital incorporates a clean, effective work flow and prioritized new ADA-compliant parking and path of travel accessibility design. As a result, the hospital garnered a Merit Award in the 2020 dvm360 Hospital Design Competition.

Reception Desk at VCA Irvine University Park Animal Hospital in California

Consultation Exam Room at VCA Irvine University Park Animal Hospital in California

Treatment Area of VCA Irvine University Park Animal Hospital in California

Surgical Room at VCA Irvine University Park Animal Hospital in California

Feline Ward at VCA Irvine University Park Animal Hospital in California

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