August 2011 – Inver Grove Heights, Minn. – From the Gateway to the West, to the heat and humidity of the southeast United States, to a sprawling metropolis on the east coast and points in-between, Krech, O’Brien, Mueller & Associates employees are on the go and on the move.
KOMA interior designer Cindy Douthett Nagel, CID, recently returned from St. Louis, Missouri, where she conducted a space verification visit for an American Dental Partners, Inc. (ADPI) affiliate. Nagel – and KOMA interior design colleague Laura Bauer – have conducted several on-site visits across the country for ADPI affiliates. ADPI is the leading business partner to dental group practices in the nation with 26 dental groups in 21 states.

Nagel said, “This was a tenant improvement situation and I was there to confirm that the space was accurately reflected in the plans. Our approach is to take multiple pictures and measurements, and to look closely at the space from a macro perspective as well as from a details-focused perspective. I want to make sure we grasp the context of the space, and consider features like the approaches to the building, the windows, lighting and any other details that are hard to fully understand from simply reviewing drawings.”

In visits like these, Nagel frequently meets with building managers or others that are involved in the project. “I want to understand the space as well as possible,” she said. “Spending just a few minutes with someone familiar with the space goes a long way toward fully understanding what issues might be looming. At the end of the day, all the time helps us create an aesthetic that is both appropriate and effective… with fewer or minimal surprises.”

KOMA and Nagel have worked closely with Butch Dahlgren, ADPI Market Development, for a number of years. “Butch and ADPI have been great partners,” said Nagel. “It’s been enjoyable and exciting work, as we’ve been able to work side-by-side with ADPI to help them extend their corporate standards from affiliate to affiliate.”

Similarly, structural engineers Brian Riley and Matt Van Hoof, PE, recently completed two trips alongside partner FRCH Design Worldwide, one to the southeast and one to the east coast. In both instances they were conducting preliminary walk-throughs of future restaurant locations.

Riley said, “FRCH Design Worldwide provides architectural services for a large full-service restaurant company. We provide structural engineering services to FRCH, and in this case we were on-site to verify the plans and examine the significant structural elements.”

Van Hoof added, “Getting on-site is important because we get a first-hand look at things like columns, joist and beam sizing and spacing, and general wall construction. All of this helps us plan the rework of the structure.”

Riley and Van Hoof work closely alongside FRCH Design Worldwide team members Ryan McNally, Rob Rink, Jennifer Nelson and Adam Walter. “The entire FRCH team really is a pleasure to work with,” said Riley. “They’re highly competent, communication-focused and absolutely committed to creating memorable spaces on behalf of their clients. Our partnership has worked extremely well, as their values and approach match up well with ours.”

KOMA has worked with Cincinnati-based FRCH Design Worldwide on multiple projects since 2008.  This includes stand-alone restaurants and a retail build-out to the Mall of America-based American Girl store.