An orthodontics practice wanted an open, airy space to maximize patient comfort and staff efficiency on a minimal budget. Merge Architects gutted the existing hundred-year-old storefront and warehouse on Main Street in Waltham to create Lightwell, an open-plan reception and treatment facility flanked by semi-private offices, exam rooms, and a staff break area.
The focal point of the space is the double-height treatment space, anchored by an 18-foot-tall backlit translucent wall that curves down in section to frame and light the open treatment area. The wall also divides the sterile labs from the ortho bay. The CNC-cut plywood ribs skinned with thin polycarbonate panels funnel light from skylights into the otherwise windowless ortho bay. Built-in sinks and storage at the base of the wall serve the treatment area and the semi-enclosed lab and sterilization areas behind.
In the front of the space, custom seating wraps a waiting space that features a digital media bar, engaging teenage patients and their families. Merge Architects designed and constructed lighting pendants to brighten the waiting area and customized wooden millwork and natural wool felt accents to warm the space. Bright green custom wall graphics provide friendly wayfinding throughout.