Oral Health Group

Office Design: Child’s Play

October 1, 2002
by Dental Practice Management

The office of Dr. Magdalena Quinn, recently opened in Oakville, ON, focuses on child-friendly paediatric dentistry. Dr. Quinn’s desire to build an early foundation for a lifetime of dental health made it imperative that the interior design create an environment that would promote a caring, pleasant, and sensitive atmosphere for young patients.

The reception area immediately establishes the playful character of the office and introduces the project’s concept, “Fun & Games”. Here, the “Lego”-inspired reception desk, “dominoes” as artwork, and brilliant rainbow colours in the seating set a lively tone.

Within the reception area, children are tempted into an “undersea” world devoted especially to youngsters, complete with a sunken treasure chest (housing a TV monitor), a climb-up ship’s deck, and portholes in the walls.

Teens gravitate to the PlayStations that are located in a space specifically designated for them. Separated by an etched acrylic panel from the general seating, the teen area is defined by a “puzzle” theme that re-enforces the design concept of the office.

Broken yellow “traffic lines”, inset into the reception room floor, lead to the interior hallway, which becomes the “road” to the treatment area. Painted bicycles “parked” along the low, undulating partitions and cheerful wall colours help to alleviate young anxieties along the way. An electric train encircling the area near the ceiling delights children even from a prone position in the dental chair.

The private “quiet” room adjacent to the main treatment bay, designed for more difficult cases, is less exuberant in colour, but nevertheless incorporates the “fun” concept.

Because of the range in age of the children in the practice, the “Fun & Games” theme was preferred to the more juvenile use of cartoon characters or other decorative imagery that would appeal to only one group or another. Curved walls and rounded corners in high-trafficked areas were a major consideration for child safety.

The office was designed by Jean Akerman Interior Design in conjunction with Dan Burns and Patterson Dental. Jean Akerman Interior Design recently received an ARIDO Award for this office design.

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