Contract - Dental Clinic

design - features - healthcare design



Dental Clinic

12 August, 2013

-By Jean Nayar. Photography by Fernando Guerra


On a busy street in the heart of the scenic Portuguese town of Torres Vedras lies a clean-lined clinic where a trip to the dentist has taken on a whole new meaning. Thanks to the clinic’s ethereal, spa-like interior design by Miguel Marques Venâncio, principal and founder of Lisbon-based MMVArquitecto, the angst that typically accompanies a visit to the dentist melts away. Instead, the freshly renovated interiors offer an experiential paradigm for both patients and dentists with a series of ultra-pure, finely crafted, minimalist spaces that invite contemplation and evoke serenity.

“The client wanted to recreate the space and provoke a new atmosphere and sensation with a new image,” Marques Venâncio explains. “So I aimed to create an environment that would be very different from the experience of going to the dentist that I’ve had since I was young. The idea was to create a timeless space, a space that would be contemplative and supports the importance of silence.” In materializing this concept, the architect explored aspects of nature for inspiration. “I wanted to capture a sculptural quality in the architecture by translating elements of nature in abstracted form,” Marques Venâncio says. “I envisioned an image of something clean and clear and chose to materialize a block of ice in an abstract way.”

A vision in green and white

Before bringing his poetic vision to life, the architect called for gutting the formerly drab space, which is located on the ground floor of an ordinary commercial building constructed in the 1970s. After presenting the client with various models that expressed his concept for the design and accounting for all of the dentist’s programmatic requirements, the architect undertook the renovation in phases over a 14-month period.

The clinic’s finely honed design begins at the entrance, where a curtain wall, constructed from layered strips of recycled glass, spans the width of the reception and waiting area and offers a diffused view of the human silhouettes and millwork within. “The composition of glass allows for the reflections and vibrations of light, creating a perception of space that is constantly mutating,” Marques Venâncio says.

Beyond the glass wall an all-white cube envelopes the sanctuary-like waiting area just past the monolithic custom reception desk. Wrapped with painted laminate boards—cut and composed of bands of varying widths—the pure white space appears to glow from within emanating shimmering beams of light from between the sections of board. “The materials create a perception of a block of ice that has been excavated in a sculptural way,” Marques Venâncio says.

Opposite the green glass curtain wall, five slender vines climb the mullions along the windows, which are covered with a scrim shade that allows natural light to penetrate the space while obscuring the busy street. Echoing the tree-lined boulevards outside, the leafy greenery introduces an organic element to contrast with the serene, streamlined setting and connects the space with its broader context.

Instead of cluttering the waiting area with a clutch of chairs and tables scattered with magazines, the architect lined the waiting area with a cantilevered bench upholstered with white leather, leaving the center of the room open. The idea, he says, was to create a “space apparently empty, yet full of life.” Devoid not only of excess furniture and ephemera, the space is also free of other visual distractions, such as televisions or aquariums, which ar often present in other dental clinics. “There is too much noise everywhere, too much sensory overload,” Marques Venâncio says. “We needed to change that here to distinguish this space from other clinics and make it very, very quiet.”

More spa than dental clinic
Quiet though the clinic may be, its internal play of light and well-edited mix of materials—glossy white walls, epoxy-coated concrete floors, warm-to-the-touch white leather seating, and cool green and clear glass walls—thoroughly engages the eye with a rich array of textures and subtle energy. These materials and qualities of light are carried through to the staff offices, treatment rooms, secretary stations, and x-ray and clinical spaces. Pops of color—red, blue, and green—on the upholstery of the chairs in the three treatment rooms give patients and dentists alike an extra reason to smile in this bright and uplifting environment.

Key Design Highlights

  • The color palette is primarily limited to white and green to create soothing and contemplative spaces.
  • Custom elements, such as millwork and wall panels, are cleanly detailed, yet sculptural.
  • Recyled glass partitions let light  filter through the formerly drab ground floor space.
  • A lack of visual clutter allows patients to relax and have a more spa-like experience than a typical dentist visit.

Dental Clinic

  • Architect: MMVArquitecto
  • Client: R. Leal
  • Where: Torres Vedras, Portugal
  • What: 970 square feet on one floor
  • Cost/sf: $180




Dental Clinic

12 August, 2013


On a busy street in the heart of the scenic Portuguese town of Torres Vedras lies a clean-lined clinic where a trip to the dentist has taken on a whole new meaning. Thanks to the clinic’s ethereal, spa-like interior design by Miguel Marques Venâncio, principal and founder of Lisbon-based MMVArquitecto, the angst that typically accompanies a visit to the dentist melts away. Instead, the freshly renovated interiors offer an experiential paradigm for both patients and dentists with a series of ultra-pure, finely crafted, minimalist spaces that invite contemplation and evoke serenity.

“The client wanted to recreate the space and provoke a new atmosphere and sensation with a new image,” Marques Venâncio explains. “So I aimed to create an environment that would be very different from the experience of going to the dentist that I’ve had since I was young. The idea was to create a timeless space, a space that would be contemplative and supports the importance of silence.” In materializing this concept, the architect explored aspects of nature for inspiration. “I wanted to capture a sculptural quality in the architecture by translating elements of nature in abstracted form,” Marques Venâncio says. “I envisioned an image of something clean and clear and chose to materialize a block of ice in an abstract way.”

A vision in green and white

Before bringing his poetic vision to life, the architect called for gutting the formerly drab space, which is located on the ground floor of an ordinary commercial building constructed in the 1970s. After presenting the client with various models that expressed his concept for the design and accounting for all of the dentist’s programmatic requirements, the architect undertook the renovation in phases over a 14-month period.

The clinic’s finely honed design begins at the entrance, where a curtain wall, constructed from layered strips of recycled glass, spans the width of the reception and waiting area and offers a diffused view of the human silhouettes and millwork within. “The composition of glass allows for the reflections and vibrations of light, creating a perception of space that is constantly mutating,” Marques Venâncio says.

Beyond the glass wall an all-white cube envelopes the sanctuary-like waiting area just past the monolithic custom reception desk. Wrapped with painted laminate boards—cut and composed of bands of varying widths—the pure white space appears to glow from within emanating shimmering beams of light from between the sections of board. “The materials create a perception of a block of ice that has been excavated in a sculptural way,” Marques Venâncio says.

Opposite the green glass curtain wall, five slender vines climb the mullions along the windows, which are covered with a scrim shade that allows natural light to penetrate the space while obscuring the busy street. Echoing the tree-lined boulevards outside, the leafy greenery introduces an organic element to contrast with the serene, streamlined setting and connects the space with its broader context.

Instead of cluttering the waiting area with a clutch of chairs and tables scattered with magazines, the architect lined the waiting area with a cantilevered bench upholstered with white leather, leaving the center of the room open. The idea, he says, was to create a “space apparently empty, yet full of life.” Devoid not only of excess furniture and ephemera, the space is also free of other visual distractions, such as televisions or aquariums, which ar often present in other dental clinics. “There is too much noise everywhere, too much sensory overload,” Marques Venâncio says. “We needed to change that here to distinguish this space from other clinics and make it very, very quiet.”

More spa than dental clinic
Quiet though the clinic may be, its internal play of light and well-edited mix of materials—glossy white walls, epoxy-coated concrete floors, warm-to-the-touch white leather seating, and cool green and clear glass walls—thoroughly engages the eye with a rich array of textures and subtle energy. These materials and qualities of light are carried through to the staff offices, treatment rooms, secretary stations, and x-ray and clinical spaces. Pops of color—red, blue, and green—on the upholstery of the chairs in the three treatment rooms give patients and dentists alike an extra reason to smile in this bright and uplifting environment.

Key Design Highlights

  • The color palette is primarily limited to white and green to create soothing and contemplative spaces.
  • Custom elements, such as millwork and wall panels, are cleanly detailed, yet sculptural.
  • Recyled glass partitions let light  filter through the formerly drab ground floor space.
  • A lack of visual clutter allows patients to relax and have a more spa-like experience than a typical dentist visit.

Dental Clinic

  • Architect: MMVArquitecto
  • Client: R. Leal
  • Where: Torres Vedras, Portugal
  • What: 970 square feet on one floor
  • Cost/sf: $180

 


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