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In times of difficulty, like a recession, innovative thinkers are the ones who thrive – regardless of industry. In the case of retail, brands that are succeeding are putting their best foot forward by investing in innovative spaces that architecturally and aesthetically communicate the main principles of the product or service. As a result, concept stores are breaking out and becoming a trend.

Contagious Magazine reported that concept stores are succeeding because they provide consumers with a stimulating experience on multiple levels. High-end brands have known for years that the atmosphere of a retail space is almost as important as the product. As a result, companies have invested large sums of money into creating unique spaces to attract and keep the attention of consumers. Brands are focusing their attention on making radical and attractive spaces with the use of explosive architectural vision, reported HongKiat.com, a design blog. Nothing proves the existence of a product, service or brand like the physical embodiment of that entity.

For example, the Chevy Chase Mall Pavilion in Maryland has recently been completed by ASST. Working closely with the design firm streetsense and general contractor, Hitt Contracting, ASST assisted with the design, fabrication and installation of a 3Form translucent media wall, escalators, stair wells, walnut wood casework, upholstered seating and a new prime location for Starbucks Coffee in the middle of the action. ASST is proud to have been awarded a Washington Building Congress Award for Excellence in Craftsmanship on this challenging project. Be sure to visit ASST's new website www.asst.com to view more images of this innovative project and to learn more about the product solutions and fabrication services ASST offers.


The corporate lobby is the front of a business and is an important element to the reputation of any organization. According to Buildings.com, an online contractor magazine, if your lobby is outdated or looks tired, it could impact your business. Clients who show up for meetings or potential employees are going to judge the quality of your operations and the corporate culture by the look and feel of a lobby. As a result, it is important to ensure that this space is impressive, practical and sends the right message.

"Your lobby is your front door – it's the first and last impression for your employees, tenants, and their customers," explains Charles McClafferty, chief operating officer with Sage Realty Corporation in New York City, according to the news source.

The Economic Times reported that a lobby should incorporate the right blend of materials, practical and personality. The space should catch the eye of a visitor, but it shouldn't be so filled with personality that the lobby is shocking or insults potential clients or partners.

For most businesses, the lobby should be reflective of the goals of the brand. "Which style you emulate depends on your business goals," said Mark Stumer, principal of Mojo Stumer Associates, according to the news source. "What kind of tenants are you trying to attract? Or are you hoping to appeal to existing ones? If you're looking for corporate clients, you want a traditional lobby look. If you hope to attract a young company, like a Google or an Apple, then you may go with a more creative feel."

Both types of office lobby spaces might benefit from a wall panel system that is both professional, yet visually stimulating. SCULPTCOR® by ASST is a thermoformed architectural wall panel system that can offer the right blend of durability and beauty. The wall panels are available in three standard patterns. This durable and easy to clean solid surface system is a highly practical solution and has been used in DuPont's corporate offices in Wilmington, Delaware. As an ideal solution for both new and renovation properties, the wall panel system is easily incorporated into almost any space and it can quickly transform a simple, outdated area into a one-of-a-kind space.

"You want to keep your lobby upgrades in line with your building's existing architecture, particularly with respect to a historical property," adds Scott Spector, principal for the design firm Spector Group, according to Buildings. "There are easy ways to blend in new and modern trends without being at odds with the original design."

Branding experts recommend that business leaders keep in mind the classic design elements. Using overly trendy features throughout the space will date the design in just a few years. However, a mix of modern and classic will allow the space to remain fresh.


The traditional corporate spaces are getting a makeover. Offices, lobbies and meeting spaces are being transformed into innovative spaces that promote a happy, successful corporate culture. As a hub of innovation, meeting spaces are especially important because they are "social generators" intended to be inspiring spaces for creating strategies with co-workers to support the success of a business.

Heavybit Industries office in San Francisco, California, has undergone a renovation and interior design overhaul that makes their meeting spaces unique, sparking the imaginations of workers. Retail Design Blog reported that the second and third floor meeting rooms have been placed in an open environment and feature geometric ceiling designs amidst the lights that are both artistic and practical. Workers in the office are able to look up and brain storm about new client solutions and procedure updates.

SCULPTCOR® by ASST is a patented thermoformed architectural wall panel system that takes inspiration from diverse elements and forms found in nature. Perfect for creating inspiring accent walls in meeting spaces, the panel system is fabricated from non-porous, durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean solid surface.

The wall panel sizes are 24"x64" nominally and are presently available in three standard patterns: Twist, Wave and Smooth. Panel reveals can be specified either straight or curved in five (5) standard colors: pure white, cream, warm white, frozen white and white lotus. Additional colors and special panel sizes are available. The largest uncut pressed panel size available is 29.5" x 72".

SCULPTCOR by ASST can be utilized in a variety of project applications such as wall panels, column covers, retail facades, elevator cladding, casework, ceiling panels and furniture. Complete Autodesk 3D REVIT file and 2D standard details and specifications are available for download.

Please contact ASST at 717.630.1251 x305 for architectural support or x307 for specific project estimating assistance.


New in health care is the challenge for designers and architects to design health care facilities that will last for decades and longer. Design professionals are being charged with the responsibility of designing healthcare structures that are ideal for current technology, but are also flexible and durable enough to transform spaces easily and affordably.

Healthcare Design Magazine reported that the new Center for Care and Discovering on the University of Chicago Medicine's campus was designed with the intention of doing just that. The 1.2 million square-foot center is relatively low to the ground at only 10 stories and was built to be the ultimate in transformative design.

"On our site visits, we saw some hospitals that had ORs on two floors, which worked just fine," said Elizabeth Lockwood, project manager for University of Chicago Medicine, according to the news source. "But we liked the idea of having just one big floor. The units can flex over time in size. [Also, one floor cuts down on travel time for staff]."

According to the news source, the client desired a structure that would last for 100 years and adapt to the changing needs of the healthcare industry. In the last 100 years, healthcare and the technologies used for treatment have undergone a rapid transformation. This new building is intended to take the evolutionary nature of the industry and adapt without major problems. This was managed with the inclusion of a very walking-friendly design, a lot of natural light and easily adaptable spaces.

"The development of the universal grid was a response to optimizing all major hospital programmatic platforms within a singular structural grid," said Elizabeth Rack, principal, Cannon Design, according to the news source. "The importance of the universal grid is heightened by a building of this size and complexity where different programs are stacked vertically."

This new trend toward smart-design medical centers is expected to continue to grow as more and more facilities adopt this transformative ideal. Architects & designers are specifying interior finish materials that are also expected to be adaptable, durable and practical. ASST can help you meet these challenges by providing quality solutions  in solid surface, translucent resin materials as well as millwork and plastic laminate.

Listed below are just a few of the design solutions we offer our healthcare clients:

• Full package Division 6 casework (available in a variety of materials)
• OR paneling
• Trespa™ wall panels
• Toilet partitions
• SCULPTCOR®   wall panel system (with hard seam joints)
• Modular Vanity™ System
• MatchLine™ Stainless Sinks
• Cradle™ Baby Bowl

For further information on ASST's comprehensive offerings for health care, visit www.asst.com or contact ASST architectural support 717.630.1251 x305.


Preventing the spread of infections and diseases in medical centers is a primary goal for those in the healthcare industry. Medical professionals, interior designers and architects are working together to design spaces that will help decrease the likelihood of a disease spreading.

The importance of working conditions in healthcare
According to Health Facilities Management Magazine, medical spaces must provide good working conditions for professionals and surfaces that do not facilitate the transmission of pathogens. Infection control and prevention are key qualities in any medical center or hospital.

As Jennie Evans, R.N., LEED AP, EDAC, vice president at design firm HKS, Dallas, stated, "design is married to operations."

The use of high-quality solid surface materials that will decrease the spread of disease is a crucial component of any design.

"We need materials and surfaces that can withstand the types of cleaning that we have to do in health care environments," said Linda L. Dickey, R.N., MPH, CIC, director of epidemiology and infection prevention, University of California–Irvine, according to the news source. "For furnishings, we're looking for materials that won't easily deteriorate or crack or break, so that we can appropriately clean them. We have to clean with frequency and clean with chemicals that, for right now, are pretty hard on surfaces, and so we need materials that are resilient."

Bathroom vanity solutions for healthcare facilities
Hospitals or other medical centers looking for the right solution may want to consider specifying ASST's Modular Vanity™ System. Bathrooms are some of the hardest places to not only clean but make compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Created by ASST, this innovative wall hung vanity system utilizes a sturdy aluminum and polyethylene support structure with a thermoformed 1/4" thick removable (solid surface or resin) front panel allowing for easy access to plumbing. The vanity system is available in 30" wide increments and includes both a backsplash, side panels and an integral sink bowl. 

Easy to clean, these units are the ideal solution for a medical center or hospital because they help decrease the spread of diseases. To learn more, contact architectural support at ASST: 717.630-1251 x305 or go online and visit www.asst.com.


Creating an inviting restaurant space requires both innovative interior design and excellent cuisine. After all, diners enjoy spending time in restaurants that offer a complete experience. As a result, many restaurant owners are looking to incorporate sophisticated design elements into branding and design of their restaurants.

For example, Retail Design Blog reported that the Tanoon Mai restaurant in Chatswood, Australia, has recently been renovated so that the walls are a mix of indigenous colors, textures and patterns. The fun and funky atmosphere is intended to encourage patrons to feel relaxed and have a fun time.

ASST recently completed work for Macy's flagship Herald Square New York City location with a new high-end Italian restaurant, Stella 34 Trattoria. ASST performed the fabrication & installation of the curved thermoformed solid surface upholstered seating booths as well as walnut millwork waiter stations throughout the new restaurant. Be sure to check out the images of this job on our new website at www.asst.com. Besides the interiors being special, the food has been getting rave reviews in New York Magazine and other publications. Be sure to check it out!


More and more companies are looking to put their branding mark on the office spaces they are inhabiting. Take for example Google's office in New York City, New York. This tech-giant is known for its over-the-top perks, but did you know the company also outfits its offices with unique features that are intended to stimulate the imaginations of workers and create a fun atmosphere?

Google's New York City office has desirable features like a make-it-yourself snack and sandwich bar, an open-area recreation room, a computer museum, a LEGO wall and a scrolling screen showing recent searches people are making on the search engine. While all of these characteristics are fun, not every office can have such an out-of-the box appeal. Typically, companies in the financial industry or other, more traditional industries, try to take a much more conservative design approach.

Regardless of design style, selecting a durable wall panel system with proven performance characteristics such as SCULPTCOR™ by ASST will provide exceptional versatility because of its various textures and characteristics. SCULPTCOR is a patented thermoformed architectural wall panel system that takes inspiration from diverse elements and forms found in nature. The system is fabricated from non-porous, durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean solid surface. For more traditional offices, even a simple accent wall with SCULPTCOR wall panels can bring a modern twist to a typical interior office space.

SCULPTCOR by ASST can be utilized in a variety of project applications such as wall panels, column covers, retail facades, elevator cladding, casework, ceiling panels and furniture. Complete Autodesk SEEK™ 3D REVIT file and 2D standard details and specifications are available for download. Please visit the Autodesk SEEK website for more information.

The wall panel sizes are 24"x64" nominally and are presently available in three standard patterns: Twist, Wave and Smooth. Panel reveals can be specified either straight or curved in five (5) standard colors: pure white, cream, warm white, frozen white and white lotus.  There are no minimum orders. Please contact project estimating for pricing. Additional colors and special panel sizes are available. The largest uncut pressed panel size available is 29.5" x 72" Please contact ASST at 717.630.1251 x305 for architectural support or x307 for specific project estimating assistance.


In the fast-paced world of healthcare development, hospitals and medical practices are working to provide the right blend of substance and design aesthetic to patients and staff. According to architects interviewed by Healthcare Design Magazine, buildings are now being designed to accommodate the changing healthcare environment. New technologies and procedures are being produced at such a pace that designers are needing to looking into their crystal ball to try and determine what space is needed where to try and accommodate these changes. 

As you can imagine, this creates some difficulties, but designers are managing. What becomes more interesting is the focus on aesthetic appeal in these medical spaces. More and more hospitals and medical practices are focusing on making spaces beautiful and inviting, without negatively impacting functionality. This is where ASST comes into the equation and offers solutions that are both function-oriented and beautiful for hospitals and medical practices. SCULPTCOR™ by ASST is a patented thermoformed architectural wall panel system that takes inspiration from diverse elements and forms found in nature. The system is fabricated from non-porous, durable, stain-resistant, and easy to clean solid surface. The wall panel sizes are 24×64 nominally and are presently available in three standard patterns: Twist, Wave and Smooth. Panel reveals can be specified either straight or curved in five (5) standard colors: pure white, cream, warm white, frozen white and white lotus. Additional colors and special panel sizes are available. The largest uncut pressed panel size available is 29.5" x 72"

SCULPTCOR™ by ASST can be utilized in a variety of project applications such as wall panels, column covers, retail facades, elevator cladding, casework, ceiling panels and furniture. Complete Autodesk 3D REVIT file and 2D standard details and specifications are available for download on the Autodesk SEEK website.

Please contact ASST at 717.630.1251 x305 for architectural support.


There's certainly no debating the fact that the functionality of a newly constructed hospital is the principle concern. The goal, ultimately, is to be able to efficiently serve as many patients as possible by giving doctors, nurses and other staff members the space and tools they need.

At the same time though, this doesn't mean that architects and designers should be completely disregarding the appearance and aesthetic value of the hospitals they're designing. The influence of hospitality design is infiltrating other market areas. A recent Healthcare Design Magazine article, for instance, noted that the function of hospital lobbies, specifically, have changed significantly in recent years. Whereas they once served as a simple point of entry and place to gather initial information, lobbies now serve as a means of orienting visitors and even a waiting area for both visitors and patients.

"Lobbies have the power to charm, dazzle, and entice you," Michael Bedner, chairman and CEO of interior design consultant Hirsch Bedner Associates, told the publication. "Guests' impressions of what they are about to experience both start and end with the lobby. That's why lobby design — the visual images, the total sensory experience — is so important."

SCULPTCOR™ by ASST 
The balance between offering a caring, yet professional environment for hospital patients and visitors can be met in a number of ways from a design perspective. SCULPTCOR™, is a patented thermoformed architectural wall panel system created by  ASST, that is not only durable and stain-resistant, but can also provide a more upscale hotel-like hospitality environment.

One specific aspect of the hospital interiors that can make a major impression is lighting. Lighting is known to have a subtle, subconscious effect on individuals' moods, a particularly crucial concern for hospitals that want to offer as soothing, relaxing an atmosphere as possible. SCULPTCOR™ can also be done as LED backlighted custom ceiling elements as shown below in the ceiling completed for Penn State Hershey Children's Hospital. Please contact us at 717-630-1251 x305 or www.asst.com for further information.


For hotel executives seeking to garner a positive reaction from guests there are more than a few things to consider. What technologies are offered and how soothing is the decor are considerations often at the forefront of everyone's mind, reports Metropolis Magazine. However, ever since the latest revision of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), architects who specialize in designing hotels must make sure that every person can enjoy the wonders of their creations. 

Hotel Executive reports that ensuring that even disabled patrons can use hotel facilities and accommodations is especially crucial – not only on a customer service level, but also because the U.S. Department of Justice has been cracking down on ADA violations and scrutinizing hotels. 

When it comes time to renovate or build surface solutions, ASST has the design solutions. For bathrooms, one of the hardest spaces to make ADA compliant, ASST's Modular Vanity System offers the right combination of beauty and practicality. The vanities are highly durable and constructed with a stout polyethylene frame and then covered with an attractive, but tough, solid surface, which is nonporous and discourages the growth of mildew, mold and fungi. This combination of features allows the vanities to not only appear aesthetically pleasing in multiple finishes, but also remain practical for public spaces.

The vanities are wall hung, which decreases wear and tear and allows those who are using wheelchairs or other devices to still get close enough to the sink and other surfaces. For more information on the ASST Modular Vanity System, please visit www.asst.com

As architects and hotel professionals look into renovating or designing a new hospitality space, it's important to consider and weigh design versus compliance options. However, not all choices have to be either or. With the right answer, a designer can achieve the look and feel he or she wants without negatively impacting ADA compliance regulations.