Timber Dentistry by Kohki Hiranuma Architect & Associates

The expressive building accommodates a dental clinic in a quiet residential area near Osaka.

OSAKA – Located on a corner plot in Minoh, a quiet residential area 15-km north of Osaka’s city centre, a dental clinic has been realised by Kohki Hiranuma Architect & Associates that seeks to make the dreaded visit to many people’s least favourite medical professional a less harrowing experience.

‘A lot of people are not comfortable going to the dentist,’ say the architects. ‘The clinic therefore has a spatial experience that is supposed to help ease patients’ anxiety.’ With this seeminly simple goal in mind, the architects have created a welcoming space by opening the building towards the street by means of generous canopies and a large arching window that creates a seamless connection between the waiting room and the world outside.

Inside, warm tones of timber counteract the exterior’s glacial appearance. ‘We aimed to achieve the longest single spans in wood we could,’ explain the architects. The double-height waiting room allows views out, as well as up, where the exposed wooden trusses trace the expressive, sweeping roofline. Three treatment rooms are located at the back of the building and feature skylights in order to protect the privacy of patients, whereas the first floor houses the clinic’s administrative spaces.

Photos © Satoshi Shigeta


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