Wilzen Lingad, OD, moved from her home country of Switzerland to New York City on her own at age 19. She worked her way through SUNY and gained experience as an associate OD for a number of years. But the slow, early days of the pandemic got her thinking of being her own boss, and in September 2021, her year long passion project turned into Bridges Eye Care in Long Island City, New York.
NOTHING INTO SOMETHING
Sitting at the foot of the Queensborough Bridge, Bridges Eye Care started as a “blank space” with no electricity meter or water line. The saw the opportunity to let her creativity run wild, even creating both hand-drawn sketches and an “entire PDF of the practice design.” For this, she got a discount from her designer for doing “so much of the work.”
A “weird” step down into the practice from street level presented an ADA issue, so a ramp was built, taking up about a fifth of the 1,000-square-foot space. Working around it, Dr. Lingad added clear glass and stunning black metal handrails, and the ramp now gives those that enter her practice a full overlooking view of the optical.
Something the practice did come with, Dr. Lingad says, was a “beautiful concrete floor.” She polished the concrete—which was more cost-efficient than adding a laminate, tile or vinyl flooring– and it now stands out when sunshine beams in through the 30-foot-wide windows framing the front of the practice.
The Bridges Eye Care logo was designed by Dr. Lingad and inspired by the bridge just outside the office, with a nod to Dr. Lingad’s love for running in the city.
THE DESERT IN NEW YORK
The practice features “desert vibes” that didn’t come with too hefty of price tags, Dr. Lingad says. “I wanted a modern, clean feel, but I also wanted it to be attainable,” she says. She did so by finding a front desk that “looks super expensive but is surprisingly lightweight, and she painted the entire practice a bright beige.
Rounded archways give the entire practice a Southwestern Pueblo feel, with greenery dotting corners and shelves throughout the practice. The archways and doors are painted black and lots of LED lights brighten the optical, with inspiration coming from beauty stores, Dr. Lingad says.
The industrial-looking mirrors in the optical swivel for ease of use, and the optical shelves were custom made. Throughout the practice, patients can find framed photos of the New York skyline, taken by a local photographer.
“I didn’t want a cookie cutter look or to feel like every other practice,” she says. “I was inspired by the lighting in beauty stores and the way they display products to look their best.” The arched doorway idea came from Dr. Lingad’s veterinarian office—“you can take inspiration from anywhere,” she says.
For the busy Dr. Lingad, her practice brings her peace. “It’s exactly what I wanted it to be,” she says.
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Get more inspiration from other WO practice design stories here.
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