Our Award-Winning Facility
The nationally recognized “Symposium on Healthcare Design 2000” honors the newly created La Jolla IVF as:
“One of the most forward-thinking healthcare facilities…that improves the quality of care…”
David B. Smotrich, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., Founder and Medical Director of La Jolla IVF, in accepting the honor said, ”Our team of designers and medical professionals have spent a great deal of time and effort in making our newly designed offices and surgical facilities not only the most technically advanced, but also the most emotionally comforting. We couldn’t be more pleased to have this national recognition.”
Our award-winning facility includes an operating suite, fully staffed recovery area, and state-of-the-art embryology laboratory. The laboratory is equipped with highly advanced systems for air filtration to create the most favorable environment for fertilization and embryo development.
We invite you to spend just a little time to read the article entitled “A Nurturing Space” featured in IS magazine. This short synopsis will enable potential patients to understand the underlying philosophical basis for the design of our fertility center.
The design and building process was indeed a labor of dedication, planned to help create a kinder, gentler, environment — one in which patients can feel enveloped in a relaxing, caring and nurturing space that will ultimately encourage the most optimum results possible.
A Nurturing Space
“Overcoming some awkward design restrictions, the soothing interior of this fertility clinic helps calm the frazzled nerves of anxious patients.”
by Diane Wintroub Calmenson from IS Magazine June 2002
With the advance of medical science and technology, there is now more than one way to make a baby. Thanks to in vitro fertilization, or IVF, people who might not otherwise be able are having biological children of their own. However, the road to pregnancy—never mind the actual pregnancy itself—can be fraught with anxiety.
At La Jolla IVF in La Jolla, CA, designer Jain Malkin, president of Jain Malkin Inc., also in La Jolla, strove to create an environment that would be as relaxing as possible. Soothing colors, soft sculptural forms and gentle curves surround patients and help take the edge off of raw nerves.
“The primal urge to transfer one’s genes and to build a family, coupled with years of disappointments and attempts to become pregnant, creates emotional tension that is palpable for patients visiting this office,” says Malkin. “So, our design objective was to place patients in the most comfortable environment possible.”
The center is located in a 3,400-square-foot corner suite that is bordered on one side by stairs and a public corridor on the other. Combine these confines with the large number of rooms such a clinic requires-examination, recovery, consultation, minor procedure, IVF lab, andrology lab-and Malkin’s team was left without a square foot to spare. The reception area, in fact, is merely a 10- by 40-foot room because of the overall space restrictions. Also, the only entrance to the suite dictated the placement of the waiting room within the space.
Malkin relied on curved forms in the ceiling and on the floor to create the illusion of a wider, less awkwardly-shaped space. Entering at one end of the long room, patients see two curved and parallel ceiling soffits that are mirrored in the floor’s custom designed and fabricated area rug. Both the ceiling and the floor help draw the eye toward the window at the opposite end of the space. Soffits are painted a soft shade of lavender, with a dropped portion above the reception desk done in pale yellow. A light cove runs the length of the soffit opposite the desk. A simple lay-in ceiling separates one curved soffit from the other.
Malkin’s firm designed the area rug, complete with scale drawings and dimensions. The fabricator laser-cut and assembled the rug, and then shipped the finished product back for installation. According to Malkin, the rug fits like a glove in the space. Its colors-lavender, copper, pale yellow and beige-are separated one from the other by a bevel cut.
To enhance the bit of natural light in the waiting room, recessed lights were placed in the ceiling and the walls are painted yellow. The curved reception desk is made of maple and cherry woods with a granite transaction counter.The diamond pattern on the front of the desk was achieved with a simple twist: a 90-degree turn of the inset wood panels left the grain running in the opposite direction, thereby creating the subtle effect. Built-in shelves behind the desk store beautiful pieces of pottery that complement the décor in color and form. Suspended pendants above the desk have Murano glass shades.
Across from the reception desk is a built-in console table also made of maple and cherry woods. A delicate fountain sits atop the table and provides the soothing sound of babbling water. Artwork throughout the waiting area is happy and fanciful. Lined up along one wall are five commissioned paintings based on characters from Cirque de Soleil. Each framed painting is mounted on a panel of lavender gypsum board as background. On the opposite wall, playful circus sculptures sit inside niches.
“We needed to be careful about the artwork that was chosen because people come to this clinic from all over the world, and someone from another culture may be sensitive to certain art images,” Malkin explains. “Also, we could not use art that depicted children because even a picture can be heart-breaking to someone who is trying so hard to have a child, but can’t.”
Seating in the waiting room is durable in construction, but living room-like in design. Club chairs at the rear of the space are covered in washable suede done in teal. Other chairs are leather or fabric, and the side tables are made of maple.
Passing through the doorway from the reception room to the examination area, the concentration of soft colors and forms continues. The nurses’ station features the same granite counter and diamond pattern as the reception desk, however the pattern is created with maple and cherry. A ceiling soffit mimics the form of the nurses’ station; the suspended pendants used to illuminate the reception desk reappear also here.
Walls around the station have fabric wall covering that, according to Malkin, looks like linen but is quite durable.The walls behind the nurses’ station are charcoal gray, and the rest are beige. Wall sconces add a delicate effect of light and shadow, and carpet finishes the soft effect.
Lavender walls in the exam room relax nerves, while a border of hand-painted flowers and floating butterflies lift the spirit. The floor here may be sheet vinyl, but the look is definitely hardwood. Beyond the examination room is a private bath that could rival that of one in a fine home. A marble floor, Italian faucets, a granite counter and beautiful mirror are anything but typical of a clinical environment.
“Throughout, our goal was to provide a setting that would be comforting and relieve stress,” says Malkin. “Although the clinical procedures performed in this facility are incredibly high-tech, the environment should be soothing and nurturing.”