Dental offices are ditching their rigid, clinical interiors of yore. Thinking about the user experience – or rather, patient experience – in terms of space is evidently increasingly important to practitioners: in recent years, clinics have shown up on our radar more than ever before. White tile, white walls and stainless-steel fixtures are being swapped for diverse material palettes, vibrant colours and unique furnishings. This trend isn’t just limited to a few choice areas, either – the five examples below range all over Europe, from Romania to Spain. In fact, the Frame Award for Healthcare Centre of the Year – a category which spans all medical spaces – went to dental clinics in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Is the millennial aesthete in part responsible for this shift in looks? Perhaps. But as with so many spatial typologies – no matter the function – we’re likely to see a trip to the dentist forever changed by a growing taste for picturesque interiors.
LONDON: MAIDA SMILES CLINIC
Pedra Silva Arquitectos
Cosmetic dental clinic Maida Smiles received the benefit of Pedra Silva Arquitectos’ (PSA) expertise on healthcare spaces. The practitioners briefed the firm to create a sophisticated environment that could visually engage patients while remaining true to the clinic’s personality. ‘The design inspiration is based around our interpretation of ceramic dental implants which are commonly used in restorative dentistry,’ says a spokesperson for PSA. ‘This took the form of more than 500 hand-crafted ceramic discs which cover the walls in a honeycomb-style cluster, providing a modern, clean and clinical edge.’
BARCELONA: IMPRESS DENTAL STUDIO
Raul Sanchez Architects
Barcelona’s Impress Dental Studio, conceived by Raul Sanchez Architects, was the unanimously decided winner for Frame Awards 2020’s Healthcare Centre of the Year. Wooden partition walls featuring smile-shaped openings at the top enclose the dental studio’s treatment rooms, thus achieving a sense of privacy while maintaining an open ambience. Jury member Mels Crouwel of Benthem Crouwel Architects felt that ‘the materiality, paired with the use of bright red, speaks to the dentist’s young clientele’.
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BERLIN: THE URBAN DENTIST
For their engaging design of The Urban Dentist in Berlin, Studio Karhard won the 2019 Frame Award for Healthcare Centre of the Year. ‘Three young dentists asked us to design a dentist office that didn’t look like a typical dentist office,’ said cofounder Thomas Karhard. ‘They wanted to make the patients feel comfortable and fearless.’ By using a bold colour palette and programmable light walls, the duo was able to create veritable visual distractions for patients. The environment is both industrial and indulgent; rough construction elements balance out the candied detailing.
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ORADEA, ROMANIA: DR. LEAHU DENTAL CLINIC
Bucharest-based practice Studio3plus took an unfinished ‘gray’ space and transformed it into the newest Dr. Leahu Dental Clinic, in the Romanian city of Oradea. Servicing adults and children, the dentist tasked the designers with creating a space that could help lessen the anxiety of treatment. The studio used colours for spatial unification and continuity, emphasizing some areas with LED lighting. The children’s area in particular is unique: ‘This clinic is the first Dr. Leahu clinic to integrate a unique gamification concept, inspired from a children’s book, whose main character, Dinţica, is present all around the interior design,’ explains a representative.
L’ALCUDIA, SPAIN: SOMRIURES DENTAL CLINIC
Situated 30 kilometres outside Valencia, Somriures Dental Clinic, designed by Masquespacio, embraces its laid-back location not far from the coast with a fresh palette, greenery, and careful selection of on-trend accessories. A minimal material range and careful use of decoration ensure the professional atmosphere required of a medical office is not interrupted. Custom furnishings in the waiting room add upbeat character with clean lines and introduce brown leather, as well as gold metallic detailing, to the simple concoction of hues and textures.
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