Subverting Traditional Dental Clinic Aesthetics: 9 Projects That Go Beyond Expectations
Just like hospitals and medical offices, dental clinics are places that tend to bring anxiety and anguish to patients, reactions that can be intensified in an unfriendly and unwelcoming environment. White and neutral environments can bring the notion of asepsis and hygiene, essential requirements for hospital architecture. However, the lack of welcoming elements, such as the use of warmer colors and materials, may also be responsible for causing a certain distance between professionals and patients, in addition to reinforcing the stereotypes attributed to dental clinics.
In this sense, the architectural project can play a fundamental role in the image of a dental office and in the message it wants to convey. Going beyond an outdated dichotomy, in which form and function are seen as distinct characteristics – or even opposites – many clinics and offices in recent years have shown how aesthetics, often considered superfluous or lacking in functionality, can actually play an important role in the sensations transmitted to users.
From pastel to more vibrant tones, from the use of vegetation to the choice of more welcoming materials, the strategies found in the projects presented below illustrate how the traditional aesthetics of dental offices can be revised while complying with sanitary guidelines.
“The concept of Impress dental clinic is aimed at a young audience, which has grown with new technologies, since its offer is based on online treatments that reduce face-to-face visits. From the first moment Impress looked for a fresh design, which represented the brand and its values, which moved away from the topics of a dental clinic (white colors, aseptic environment)”
“The layout of the internal space aims to create a light and relaxing atmosphere, where young patients could feel comfortable while waiting for their appointment. The pastel shades of the furnishings, inspired by the production of Donald Judd, and the use of natural materials, help to the achievement of a friendly and relaxed mood.”
“By making arrangements such as covering the floor brick with resin and epoxy, we brought this material closer to the standards of medical space, and finally, using all the hygienic and health criteria, we used it in a place where it was less expected. By doing so, we tried to change the clichés about the design of medical clinics while respecting the main history and identity of the building.”
“We have suggested a clinic standing among and along with the plants around the site, as part of the flow of landscape from the client’s garden to the town. Mixed up with the small forests introduced in between the volumes and soaring through the roof, the treatment rooms offer a calm, comfortable scene embraced in nature that would soothe the anxiety of little patients.”
“At “The Urban Dentist” everything is focused on the individual customer experience. Therefore the layout of the store is closely based more on a concept store or a bar rather than a dentist surgery. There is a colourful bar counter in the front part and a lounge area with sofas and a backlit glass wall in the back.”
“Wood tones, easy wayfinding, and a variety of comfortable seating convey an atmosphere more consistent with a spa than an orthodontist’s office. The patient experience takes precedence throughout as the entry lobby flows to clinical and open treatment areas.”
“ A new dental clinic in the centre of Amsterdam designed by i29 combines a soothing green atmosphere with medical professionalism. Natural wood, abundant greenery and an open plan layout make visitors feel at ease.”
“For the doctor, it was important that the clinic be friendly and welcoming, but without falling into a childish aesthetic. And to be able to transform stress and fear, common in visits to the dentist, into confidence and tranquility. Vitale designs a corporate space that connects with all the public of the clinic and recreates a positive, familiar, comfortable and calm environment.”
“All these spatial, material and figurative resources are due to the communication of the Impress brand, aimed at a young audience, and allegedly far from the traditional concept of a dental clinic (white colors, aseptic environment) while pursuing a design that encompasses not only visual conditions but also tactile and sensory ones, where the reference to David Lynch’s ‘Twin Peaks’ universe inevitably reappears.”
Note: The quoted texts were extracted from the descriptions of each project, sent by the respective architects. Discover more project references in the ArchDaily folder created by the author.
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