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First look

Honeycomb of 500 ceramic discs line new dental surgery by Pedra Silva Arquitectos

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The leitmotif of the discs, which form the walls to the reception of the clinic in Maida Vale, London, was inspired by ceramic dental implants

Pedra Silva Architects has designed a new private dental clinic on a high street in Maida Vale. Within a predominently residential area, with large late Victorian and Edwardian mansion flats, the brief for the project was to create a visually engaging design for the clinic which is based in the premises of an old shop and specialises in cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics services.

Maida smiles clinic 11

Maida smiles clinic 11

Source: Pedra Silva Arquitectos

The architects designed the key feature of 500 hand-crafted ceramic discs, which cover the walls of the reception in a honeycomb-style cluster, as an interpretation of ceramic dental implants used in restorative dentistry. The design, intended to project a modern, clean and clinical look, features a hidden curvilinear door, which leads to the main clinical area and effectively disappears when shut, blending back into the wall.

The clinic was converted from a high-street store with the floorspace restructured in a simple layout funnelling off from the reception, which occupies the whole main façade. A single corridor connects all support spaces – including the staff and sterilization areas as well as toilets, technical and storage spaces, X-ray room – plus three surgery rooms located along the rear façade, taking advantage of natural light.

Maida smiles clinic 29

Maida smiles clinic 29

Source: Pedra Silva Arquitectos

Architect’s view

We wanted the reception area to communicate with the outside walkway and flow into the public space. The ‘wrap-around’ ceramic wall design with curving corners helps bring movement and provides connection and continuity to the outside realm. The reception desk itself is made of concrete which joins this element to the floor and ceiling while limiting the use of excessive materials, and above the desk is one of our favourite Alvar Aalto-designed ‘hand grenade’ suspended lights. The corridor features the same concrete material as the reception desk making the transition less jarring as customers journey through the clinic.

Another key aspect involved the technical side of the design within the actual dental theatres. Over the years we have built up a deep understanding of workflow, equipment and procedures within world-class surgical and operating spaces. Practical and ergonomic solutions for technical equipment, instruments and waste disposal are also fundamental and must work seamlessly with any design concept. Working in tandem with the client’s consultants and suppliers we were able to ensure compatibility with all equipment and client working practices. From an aesthetic viewpoint, bright, white materials were applied to clinical areas with easily cleanable and highly resistant qualities, such is the demand for these spaces.

Maida smiles clinic 47

Maida smiles clinic 47

Source: Pedra Silva Arquitectos

The overall result is a minimalist, free-flowing design which maximises the use of space. The custom-made ceramic wall and iconic furniture also work in tandem to create an interesting dynamic affecting surfaces, light and reflection.

The wide-ranging project further involved branding including the development of a client logo, graphic identity and business cards. Our team collaborated closely on this element to ensure the new branding not only complemented the architecture, but also helped promote ‘Maida Smiles’ character and ethos. The underlying brand design was therefore developed as a reinterpretation of the act of laughing, in turn creating a story around the circle and the smile – mirroring the ‘leitmotif’ ceramic discs.

Luis Pedra Silva, founding partner, Pedra Silva Architects 

Maida smiles clinic 107

Maida smiles clinic 107

Source: Pedra Silva Arquitectos

Client’s view

We selected Pedra Silva Architects to design our new clinic due to its extensive global experience in the dental clinic and healthcare sector. We were looking for a personal and bespoke design solution which would help communicate the nature of our work and personality of our business.

The architect’s acute attention to detail and collaborative design approach helped create an open and honest working relationship. This allowed us to become fully engaged in the process and influence the end design - not only to fulfil all practical needs but crucially encapsulate our unique identity.

Together, we were able to develop a highly contemporary concept involving delicate craftsmanship, based around the theme of ceramic implants. While the nature of the design communicates the intricacy of Maida Smiles’ work, it also has a novel aspect incorporating a heavily used material in our industry, which is less commonly used in construction. We were particularly impressed by Pedra Silva’s collaboration with international artisans to drive the creative process, innovation and develop a lasting and meaningful design concept.

Another fundamental element of the project involved the technical design of all clinical areas. This is where thorough understanding and knowledge of our industry is of paramount importance. There are many factors which must be carefully considered in these live working environments, including careful management of space, free-flowing movement of surgical teams and patients and the incorporation of a wide variety of technical equipment. Due to its strong experience, Pedra Silva Architects excelled in this area, meaning we benefited from a combination of first class creative design support and technical expertise.

Pedro Gutierres, principal dentist, Maida Smiles

Psa planta 1

Psa planta 1

Source: Pedra Silva Arquitectos

Plan

Project data

Start on site 2017
Completion date 2019
Gross internal floor area 85m2
Construction cost Undisclosed
Architect Pedra Silva Arquitectos
Client Dr. Pedro Gutierres
M&E consultant Project +
QS Pedra Silva Arquitectos
Acoustic consultant Hann Tucker Associates
Main contractor WL Contractors
CAD software used AutoCAD, 3D Studio Viz

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