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Bond Vet by Islyn Studio

Islyn Studio creates soothing atmosphere in Brooklyn’s Bond Vet clinic

Earthy colours and soft materials feature in this veterinary facility  by New York firm Islyn Studio, which is intended to ease the "stress and trauma often associated with vet's offices".

Located in Brooklyn's Cobble Hill neighbourhood, the clinic marks the first of two offices for Bond Vet, which was started in 2019. The other office is on Manhattan's Upper East Side.

The facility specialises in providing affordable healthcare for pets, from emergency care to traditional services such as regular checkups and neuter/spay operations. The facility is open until 10pm daily, including weekends.

For the Brooklyn location, local firm Islyn Studio worked closely with veterinarian and Bond Vet cofounder Zaynab Satchu to create a welcoming space that meets the varied needs of clients and staff. The team sought to re-envision "the animal healthcare space through the lens of compassionate hospitality".

"We designed an empathetic, multi-sensory interior that utilises pastel colours, tender touch points and calming scents to mitigate the stress and trauma often associated with vet's offices," the team said in a project description.

The team took cues from German industrial designer Dieter Rams, and also drew upon the Scandinavian lifestyle philosophy known as hygge, which espouses cosiness.

Throughout the 1,800-square-foot (167-square-metre) space, the designers avoided elements that felt cold and sterile, opting instead for soft textures, gentle colours and organic shapes. All materials are durable and easy to clean.

Visitors step into a reception area with cream-toned walls, paintings by local artists, wooden decor and an earthy colour palette. Cats and dogs are instantly greeted with treats, helping them form a positive association with the clinic.

The lobby is designed to "dissolve hierarchical levels and create free-flowing boundaries that mitigate nerves and prescribed movement".

Lining one side of the room is a tiered seating area with dark orange cushions and potted plants. Nooks enable pets to avoid making eye contact with each other. The flexible seating system can accommodate lectures and other events, including support group meetings for grieving pet owners.

The lobby has a small boutique offering wellness items such as essential oils, organic treats and cannabidiol (CBD) products for both pets and their owners.

The lobby's aesthetic continues in exam rooms, which are fitted with wooden furniture, blue cabinetry and small plants. Metal exam tables are among the only elements that convey the rooms' medical function.

Special attention was paid to the space where euthanasia occurs. The team incorporated soft animal beds, dimmable lights and Sonos speakers that play comforting music. Floor cushions and herbal teas are provided for the pets' owners.

"One of our main priorities with BondVet was to create a space that was tender enough to hold heartbreak," the team said.

Staff areas feature soft lighting and comfortable furniture, along with a kitchen stocked with healthy snacks. The break areas encourage "moments of mindful rest" – an important consideration given the high suicide rates in the veterinary field.

Overall, the office is meant to offer a heightened level of comfort for everyone – pets, their human owners, and the clinic's staff.

"With an unexpected juxtaposition of colours, textures and layers, Bond Vet feels like you're visiting a friend's comfortable city home," the studio said.

Other veterinary offices include a Montreal clinic by TBA, which features exposed brick and concrete, and an animal hospital in London by Alma-nac that is designed to keep dogs and cats separated.

Photography is by Read McKendree.

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