Architecture & Design, Health Care, and Lakeshore

Beauty in the eye of the beholder

Norton Shores building earns first place award in interior design.

July 10, 2015
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West Michigan Eye & Laser
Work on West Michigan Eye & Laser in Norton Shores earned a statewide interior design award for Caledonia-based Interior Solutions. Courtesy Interior Solutions

A West Michigan health care building has been acknowledged for its interior design by the Michigan Chapter of the International Interior Design Association.

West Michigan Eye & Laser, 1450 E. Farr Road, Norton Shores, was recognized for its outstanding interior design at the biennial Michigan Interior Design Excellence Awards banquet held recently in Detroit.

The interior design of the multi-tenant building project received first place in the health care category following submission by Cindi Brege, president of Caledonia-based Interior Solutions. The firm provides comprehensive interior design services for hospitality, corporate, health care and institutional markets across the country.

Brege was hired by Grand Rapids-based First Companies Inc., a commercial real estate, construction and property management firm, to serve as the primary interior designer of the new West Michigan Eye & Laser facility and helped select materials, finishes and furniture.

“I’m elated,” said Brege. “It doesn’t happen very often, and there are only a select few in the state who win this award, and being first place for the entire state of Michigan is pretty significant.”

The facility’s exterior and interior concept was designed for First Companies by R2 Design Group, an architectural, planning, interior design and graphic design firm. R2 Design worked closely with Berge and Dr. David Goran, ophthalmologist at West Michigan Eye & Laser, on the interior build-out, according to Jonathan Blair, director of design.

The roughly 15,000-square-foot facility also houses Celsia MediSpa, with space dedicated for the West Michigan E.N.T. & Allergy team. Building amenities include a raised clerestory, 18-foot ceilings, a water feature in the lobby, exam rooms, administration offices, a conference room and retail space for eyeglasses, according to First Companies.

In the submission for the competition, Brege indicated the colors, finishes, materials, furnishings and lighting that were chosen are typically utilized in the hospitality sector.

The building colors included blues, sea greens, and neutral sand colors integrated among different textures referencing the Lake Michigan shoreline; most of the furniture for the facility came from Steelcase, Coalesse, and the hospitality lines of Charter Furniture and Marquis Seating. Materials incorporated into the layout of the facility included Cambria quartz counter tops, a dune sculptured panel with LED lighting, and blue art-glass sconces.

Dr. Natalie Goran, medical director of Aesthetics at West Michigan Eye & Laser and director of Celsia MediSpa, said the different suites and office spaces within the health care building are complementary and come together very nicely.

“(Brege) did a great job of making things different, but also complementary to each other too, which I think was probably the toughest hurdle, knowing right outside my glass spa doors is an ophthalmology center,” she said. “We are absolutely thrilled to be in a building and be in an environment that won this award. It has been a terrific honor to work with Cindi.”

The Michigan Chapter of the International Interior Design Association hosted its 10th bi-annual Michigan Interior Design Excellence Awards Design Competition earlier this year to not only recognize projects designed by professionals based in the state, but also raise public awareness of the field.

The competition recognizes commercial projects under 10,000 square feet and over 10,000 square feet in 10 different categories, including: corporate, K-12 education, institutional, secondary education, multi-use, retail, sustainable, government, health care and hospitality.

“The MIDEA committee actually puts this award out to the whole state to those interior designers who are professional and who have a corporate or commercial project they can submit,” said Brege. “We have the International Interior Design Association as well as the ASID who recognizes the talent of the interior designers who submit projects worthy of submitting into this competition. To win this is a really big deal.”

Each submission was judged by a volunteer IIDA Chapter from outside of the state and evaluated based on its originality of design, coordination, use of color, integration of interior furnishings and architecture, and suitability of design for its function.

West Michigan Eye & Laser opened its new facility in November 2014, according to Natalie Goran. The practice provides a number of vision services for patients, including: general ophthalmology exams, custom LASIK and cataract surgery, glaucoma treatment and eyelid rejuvenation. The team includes Dr. David Goran; Dr. James Keller, ophthalmologist; Dr. Andrew Fowle, optometrist; and Dr. Natalie Goran.

“I run a spa, which is also inside the building. My husband, David, is a general ophthalmologist, who does general ophthalmology exams,” said Goran. “He is able to do procedures in the office … and he also does quite a bit of cataract surgery each year.”

The practice also incorporates state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical equipment, including: a Nidek OPD-III Marco Epic Refraction System for patients electing to have cataract surgery; a system capturing three-dimensional digital images of the retina, optic nerve, and the anterior chamber; and a laser used to treat open-angle glaucoma.

“(David) really prides himself on using state-of-the-art ophthalmology equipment to diagnose cataracts and determine what people’s eyeglasses need to be,” said Goran. “He spends a lot of time and energy to make sure that he has the best state-of-the-art equipment so when people do come in, they do get the best care and picture of what their eye health is.”

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