Located in the City of Westminster, northwest London, Maida Smiles Dental Clinic offers world class cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics services. The largely residential area has many large late Victorian and Edwardian mansion flats with a thriving commercial district. It was famously home to the BBC Maida Vale Studios which broadcast radio news services during World War II. Due to the setting and nature of the business this project demanded a unique and memorable brand and design concept. It needed to be visually engaging while promoting the personality of the clinic with a progressive feel in keeping with the advanced cosmetic work taking place onsite. It also required sophistication to mirror the affluent surroundings dubbed ‘Little Venice’ - defined by its Regency style with white Stucco buildings.
The clinic was converted from a high-street store with the floorspace restructured to 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 facade, taking advantage of natural light.
A key design element took inspiration from our interpretation of ceramic dental implants which are commonly used in restorative dentistry. This took the form of more than 500 hand-crafted ceramic discs which cover the walls in a honeycomb-style cluster, providing a modern, clean and clinical edge.
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 design also features a hidden curvilinear door leading to the main clinical area which effectively disappears when shut blending back into the wall.
The reception desk itself is finished with microcement, which joins this element to the floor, ceiling and walls behind the ceramic discs, creating a continuity between these surfaces, limiting the use of excessive materials and thus highlighting the ceramic elements. The space's furniture, also chosen by our interior design team, follows this line of thought, displaying elegant, simple and clear geometries.
The furniture is complemented by equipment and decorative lighting. Above the desk is one of our favourite suspended lights - designed by Finish architect Alvar Aalto in 1952 - called ‘hand grenade'. 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 theatre. Over the years we have built up a deep understanding of workflow, equipment and procedures within surgical and operating areas. There are many factors which must be carefully considered in these live working environments, including careful management of space and the free-flowing movement of surgical teams and patients. 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 client consultants and suppliers we were able to ensure compatibility with all equipment and client working practices. From an aesthetic viewpoint, bright, white materials were also applied to clinical areas with easily cleanable and highly resistant qualities, such is the demand for these spaces.
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 also 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 brand was therefore developed with a modern, simple, sophisticated and timeless theme in mind. The underlying design is a reinterpretation of the act of laughing, in turn creating a story around the circle and the smile - mirroring the ‘leitmotif’ ceramic discs.
Dr. Pedro Gutierres
Best Brand & Design (Highly Commended) – 2020 Private Dentistry Awards
Finalist for the Surface Design Awards - Light + Surface Interior and Commercial Building Interior categories
Winner of the Surface Design Awards - Public Building Interior category
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