Eye Physicians of Austin had been in its current location in central Austin, Texas, for more than 35 years and had outgrown the space. Rather than relocating, the team decided to build a contemporary facility on its existing property.

The new pedestrian-oriented structure would be located along the street, housing the ophthalmology practice on the second floor and retail and restaurant space on the glass-encased ground level.

Austin-based Sixthriver Architects, an architecture and interior design firm, was hired to head the new office building and interior design. Associate architect Marasco and Associates (Denver) worked to execute programming and space planning for the reimagined practice. 

While the functional square footage of Eye Physicians’ new home would not be greatly increased, the configuration of the space would allow the practice to more efficiently serve its growing patient base.

The office is organized around a large central waiting room, which includes a dedicated optical retail space. From the large waiting room, patients circulate the 20 exam rooms and associated procedure rooms located around the perimeter of the curvilinear building. 

The redesigned staff area is grouped along the east side of the building with ample amounts of natural light. Two spacious tech stations anchor the corridors and provide space for the staff to take notes or enter data.

Ceiling and lighting elements are used to unify the space, including cove lights in the corridors and a large clerestory structure with soft natural light over the main waiting area.

The main patient corridors are only 5 feet wide, and where possible, corridors and vistas from internal spaces were terminated with glazing. This device, combined with the focus on indirect lighting, provides a more open feeling to the compact layout.