So you've finally come round to thinking about designing or redesigning your dental clinic? Thinking about the brand you want to portray to your patients is the first stepping stone to creating a truly unique space that best represents you. We thought it'd be worth sharing what we offer as a concept design for dentists.
Before we dig too deep into the concept design, there's some prep work to be done (RIBA stage 1) whereby we do an initial consultation and request for measured building surveys if available, if not we can organise these for you (if based in the UK).
For us, the initial consultation is always the hardest part, trying to eek out the foundations of how to make your practice more 'you' is no easy feat. Everyone wants to be known for the best dental service in the land! That's not going to translate into a unique space for you. Tell us about where you're from? What is the community you serve is known for? What is important to you? Do you have any practice values? The more we have, the more personality we can inject into your practice. Dental practices are unfortunately sometimes tagged (currently at least) as sterile spaces, there's no need for this. We're more than able to meet CQC and HTM01-05 standards and create a space that patients can be comfortable in without being 'clinical'. But it's a collaboration between you and the designer - and it has to start with you, that's what makes the space unique.
Our process typically starts with brand exploration which involves an initial site visit to discuss you, your practice, and your vision whilst experiencing and understanding how you currently work and the community which you serve. These conversations are critical in creating the foundations upon which your brand and decor are built. In our opinion, brand exploration should not only inform your decor but also define guidelines on how your brand will be perceived and trusted by patients and employees.
Our typical approach to brand exploration takes the form of 3 strands of research:
Who is your clientele? Understanding your target market is key in defining your brand values, is it a pediatric clinic? or a clinic targeted at high net worth individuals? The answers to these questions ensure that the brand feels intuitive and personalised.
Context studies are multifaceted, firstly it helps us understand what your local area is comfortable - how can we optimise patient comfort?
Secondly, it helps us understand what your local context is famous for? Are there local suppliers we can integrate into your decor and brand?
And last but not least, is the existing building, is there a history in the existing building and area that we can embrace and embed into your identity?
You are the driving force behind the success of your clinic, so tell us who you are and what makes you - you.
The spirit, ethos, and culture of your practice should not only be embedded in your brand and decor but in every single detail of your, your patients and employees day to day.
Designing your practice is a big milestone, but it should never be seen as just a facelift. Designing your practice should represent your brand your identity, culture, and ambitions.
An initial study called the concept design is essentially the early stages of a design where we explore your brief, who you are as a dentist, and a brand, and how this can translate into space and materiality. In parallel to this, we also design logos in order to create a holistic overview exploring your brand, logo to decor.
Designing a dental practice without exploring who you are, what you do, and what makes you unique will in most cases lead to a design that has been regurgitated over and over. Once we've had a chance to digest and research your brief we typically come up with a series of sketch designs and visualizations. These designs will have taken what you've told us and we will have evolved them into materiality and narrative of the space.
Defining your brand will help you understand what makes your practice unique. This starts with you.
Case study: Dental space
A dentist in Surrey, UK asked us to redesign a derelict (but beautiful) retail building converting it into dental surgeries and a lecture hall.
After initial discussions with him, his clear vision of a sustainable led design created a material palette with the highest eco-rated credentials.
The locality was less of a concern for this client as the aspiration was to create a brand that can be translated into multiple locations. Culture however was key, as a Scandinavian, our client was keen to inject some of his backgrounds into the practice and aesthetic.
The building itself also offered existing character and charm that just need polishing. Old but charming arched windows formed the main facade elevation. We wanted to bring this charm back to life in a contemporary sense. We arched the ceiling design using bespoke prefabricated timber paneling and blended a simple and minimalist material palette to allow the ceilings to stand out with subtle lighting.
The result is a completely unique space that is a translation of conversations between our designers and the dentist as well as reflecting and enhancing the existing identity of the building in which the practice lives.