Andrea Babson was in love. In her search for a new home for her laboratory, she found the perfect building: a charming, 100-year-old, Victorian house. Then, she tore it apart in order to turn the 1,500-sq.-ft. structure into a state-of-the-art facility for Eurotek Dental Studio, a four-person C&B lab in Red Bank, New Jersey.
It was a labor of love, but it wasn't an easy journey, requiring two years' worth of planning and building renovation before the actual lab construction could even start. Babson worked with an architect to remodel the building and tore down every wall that wasn't weight bearing in order to create a more open floorplan. The electrical system and piping were entirely replaced and much of the home's plaster was replaced with sheetrock. But, according to Babson, the end result has been worth every minute.
"It's beyond anything I ever imagined," she says. "It's not only a laboratory, it's somewhere I like to be and I'm more passionate about my work because of my environment."
Since 2007, Eurotek has called the first floor of this three-story Victorian building home; the two upper floors are rented as office space. Babson loves the charming historic features like the house's original chestnut stairwell leading to her office space above the lab. However, the house's advanced age did prevent her from adding all of her desired elements. For example, due to limited space she couldn't have a separate room for custom shades, so she improvises by taking them at her bench.
The laboratory's design is heavily influenced by Babson's time spent working in a Swedish lab, where she says the environment was very relaxed. To accomplish a similar feel, Babson used contrasting light and dark colors, and blended the house's historic charm with contemporary items such as vases, photographs and a Frank Lloyd Wright-style glass window.
After visiting several labs, Babson compiled a checklist of attributes she wanted in her own lab, including plenty of space, ergonomic layout, and equipment and systems that would help keep the lab spotless. She worked with Freuding USA's Peter Freuding to select African birch benches with aluminum tops as well as furniture for the reception area, model room and casting area.
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