By HCO Staff
PRINCETON, N.J.—Integrated design firm JZA+D recently shared the news of grand openings for new venue locations for outpatient physical and occupational therapy provider JAG-ONE and mental healthcare treatment source Center for Anxiety — both featuring architecture and interior designs by the firm.
Add “wellness” to the large and growing list of design specialisms for the nationally recognized JZA+D, already known nationally and globally for innovative solutions in the hospitality, retail, worship, housing, workplace, and academic sectors. In this case the work is local: these health care settings are in Downtown Princeton, New Jersey, not far from JZA+D’s headquarters.
“These are important offerings for both the Princeton community broadly and for the University community as well,” says Richard Perry, AIA, LEED AP, principal with JZA+D and lead architect for the new location for JAG-ONE Physical Therapy. “They fill existing voids in available wellness and care services in walkable locations.”
Perry notes that JAG-ONE’s other Princeton location is in the Forrestal Village office-retail complex on the U.S. 1 highway corridor, accessible primarily by car or other transport. As the official physical therapy partner of Princeton Athletics, opening a location closer to campus just made sense. The client opted for a 3,000-square-foot former bank branch right on Chambers Street, a decision that required getting a use variance (which JZA+D assisted with). Working with the company’s brand style guide and equipment specs, the JZA+D team designed an open gym-like space for cardio and strength-building including a recovery area with treatment beds.
According to Perry, the firm also helped create outside signage — the firm has consulted with the Municipality on signage ordinances, making them an ideal choice for this — and worked to optimize natural daylight for the interior through existing windows and skylights, enhancing the healthful, restorative atmosphere.
Meanwhile the new Center for Anxiety (CFA) location is just across the street and up one flight, in a building originally designed as a firehouse then later occupied by a bank. (JZA+D recently worked with the owner to convert it to a multi-tenant building.) Offering in-person talk therapy for individuals and groups, CFA has benefited from JZA+D’s close relationships with municipal agencies and commercial property owners. According to Benjamin Grace, AIA, senior associate with the firm and lead for the project, the 2,100-square-foot second-floor space presented some challenges.
“They asked for as many exam rooms as we could fit, leaving room for a group room, reception area, and employee pantry,” says Grace. “In the end we were able to deliver nine.”
A major design challenge was managing acoustics: the vaulted ceilings of the original architecture carry sound easily, a factor that required mitigation to maintain privacy between rooms. Grace also notes that CFA asked for additional windows in the exam rooms, which required approval from the Municipality of Princeton Planning Department. These have already been approved and the new openings prepared, so installation of windows will happen quickly once the materials arrive on site this fall.