The private physiotherapist’s office is just 1100 square feet in size but Martha Franco Architecture & Design's role was a big one: to create a unique new brand for Athletica Physio, an all encompassing aesthetic that includes the design of all architectural interventions and interior design, plus furniture and all graphic elements from a logo and signage to business cards and stationary.
Martha Franco says: “The client has a fresh attitude to design. She is young and open minded and her intention was very clear: she wanted to create a unique brand and space; a new vision for physiotherapy changing the standard approach. Our work fulfilled that wish, bringing a truly coherent design ideal to all aspects of Athletica Physio.
The Athletica Physio office, on Montreal’s fashionable Rue Notre Dame, is located within an existing architecturally significant building. Franco has retained the traditional front façade while creating an entirely new interior, which includes a reception and waiting lounge, exercise space and five treatment rooms.
The interior is dominated by contrasts - black and white, soft and hard, smooth and textured. “These contrasts reflect the contrary nature of the physiotherapist’s working medium; that of muscle and bone,” says Franco. “As we talked with the client I saw the similarities between the body and the built environment – hard and soft, rigidity and elasticity - and the way in which these contrasting elements could be brought to the fore to create a unique and powerful brand.”
Franco cites the ‘sharp’ chrome of the Athletica Physio logo, which is mounted on the ‘soft’ background of the white-painted exposed brick wall. Similarly, the smooth black reception desk contrasts with the textured organic nature of the light fixture hanging above it.
“The treatment cabins add to this aesthetic, also,” says Franco. “The client did not want the usual ‘curtains with flowers’ of other physiotherapists’ offices but she needed flexible treatment space. The five cabins contained within translucent glazed walls offer privacy but allow in light: they are also rigid in nature but soft, visually; complimenting our overall design concept.”
Martha Franco has taken what the 2011 Grand Prix Du Design Awards panel calls ‘a global approach’ to create a powerful new brand that distinguishes Athletica Physio from other physiotherapists.
“It is a small project,” she says, “but one in which we went all the way to develop a totally coherent identity. The client loves it and we are very proud of the way our one-stop approach has generated such a cohesive whole for Athletica Physio.”