I posted my first professional project on social media a while ago and wanted to go into more detail to share the concept and design ideas. The project consisted of designing a dental clinic in Guatemala City which would break the stereotyped and sometimes uninviting space.
I worked the concept and the design with my friend and colleague Michelle Garrido, and we were determined to change the way dentistry felt with the objective of making patients feel more at ease, specially kids. We looked at different options based on the client’s first ideas, moving from a kawaii theme to an urban/artistic space.
Our client’s first priority was to make patients feel comfortable, and to always have a good experience at the dentist. To achieve this, we decided to use welcoming materials and joyful colors. Brick, wood, and many green decorative elements were perfect for this purpose and decided to theme each dental unit with a color.
The floor plan was designed to be an open space, to ensure that parents could be close by as their children had their dental work done. Having an open space made the experience more relaxed and less serious. We removed the ceiling grid and painted it black to add more height and dimension to the space. The walls in each workspace were focal points to distract patients.
We made the most out of 320 sq ft. The dental clinic was equipped with 2 restrooms (one for patients and the other for staff) 2 dental units, with the possibility to expand to 3, a lab space, an office space, a kitchenette for the staff and an office reception.
A lot of thought was put into this last space since it was important to create a good first impression and change the disposition of patients as they entered the clinic. We incorporated a space on the wall to hang art, pictures, news and basically anything that would be eye catching. The receptionist desk was custom made to appear as if it was part of the wall and used polycarbonate roof panel to wrap up the whole thing. Recycled materials can be seen throughout the clinic, from wine bottles to pallets. It contributed to the urban feel we wanted to provoke.
It has been 6 years since I completed this project and it has received high praise by not only my clients, but especially patients and visitors. This project was also published in Altum Magazine (my alma mater’s architecture and design magazine) and Dentistry UK Online Magazine. The success of this project also allowed the clients to open a second dentistry clinic, which I also designed. I will forever be grateful for this project, for the doors it opened and the lessons I learned along the way.
Hope you enjoyed this blog post and you find inspiration in it. Feel free to leave questions or comments below.