By M. Fabrikant – The Paramus Post
Joel Ives founder of The Ives Architecture Studio (TIAS) of Fair Lawn, N.J., designed the new Incredi-Bills’ children’s entertainment center in Montclair. The first TIAS-designed center for this company called “Unbelieva-Bills,” in Waldwick, N.J., shown above, was highly successful however; changes in the economy and demographics necessitated moving the operation to Montclair under a new name.
Incredi-Bills’ caters to families, private parties, camps, schools, fundraising groups and others. The Montclair location features open play in a 20-foot high climbing structure, arcade games, laser tag and a cafe. Weekends are highlighted by live entertainment and original shows.
As corporate architect for Unbelieva-Bills and now Incredi-Bills’, the Ives team assisted Bill Dubiel, president, in selecting the new location on Bloomfield Avenue. The 9,200-square-foot space formerly housed two retail stores. It has been gutted and will be fit-out with accommodations for approximately 350 guests.
The colorful soft-play climbing structure will serve as a focal point for the interior. The center design also calls for a small theater with a stage platform that converts into a laser tag arena, as well as two private party rooms, a warming kitchen and seating area, and oversized restrooms. The project includes new flooring, lighting and HVAC, as well as a high-end sprinkler system to meet coding requirements for assembly space. Additionally, because the building sits on a sloped property, a handicapped-accessible ramp was incorporated into a two-tier interior configuration.
“Combining the two spaces on two levels – and making it circulation-friendly – was the biggest design challenge for the new center,” noted Joel Ives, TIAS founder, who headed the project. “From a marketing standpoint, we wanted to take advantage of the glass storefront, so we have positioned the climbing structure, a real draw for kids, with visibility from the street. Above all, our design keeps safety at its core. Everything is set well back from the entrance, and the layout is easy to navigate.”
TIAS looks forward to continuing its role with Incredi-Bills’ as the company continues to expand. “These projects are, simply put, a lot of fun. What he’s doing is unique, and from a design standpoint it is very creative. From a business perspective, it is gratifying for us to be in on the ground floor of a concept that is set to take off.”
Dubiel noted that TIAS’s contributions are a significant part of what makes his Waldwick location successful, and what positions the Montclair center to follow on the same path. “We are in the smiles and memories business – what we try to do is create happy moments for children and families,” he said. “Providing a fun design and truly considering the needs of our customers go a long way toward establishing a positive environment. TIAS has done a great job of coming up with a creative, efficient design that covers all the details, such as oversizing the women’s restroom since more children come here with their mothers. We appreciate their involvement.”Originally published in The Paramus Post. Edited, updated and republished here by ives-arch.com