Office Design: Nurturing Nature, Naturally

When Drs. Marty Sekand and Steve Schneider planned their relocation from Markham, ON, to Richmond Hill, ON, they were clear in their vision for the new office: an environment that would be comforting to patients, but that would have a clean, contemporary look indicative of their high standards of practice and state-of-the-art procedures.

In keeping with the doctor’s wishes, the designer’s goal was to integrate the science and technology of dentistry with the human aspect of the practice, and to do so within a comfortable setting that recognizes the influence of nature in our lives. The design concept for Richmond Hill Dentistry consequently celebrates the relationships between our natural, man-made, and human resources.

Reference to our natural environment is evident throughout the office, accomplished through the use of a warm colour palette as well as finishing materials like wood (representing forests), textural glass (representing water), and stone. The slate-finished waterwall in the hallway brings nature inside, and skylights were installed, both to allow a view to the outdoors, and to bring natural light into the windowless interior.

The concept of the man-nature-technology relationship is introduced at the front of the office by a feature wall, its wood and vertical steel elements designed to suggest, in abstract fashion, a treed landscape. Even the theme for the children’s area reinforces the overall design concept.

The use of stainless steel finishes, along with the specialized dental equipment itself, refers to the modern technology and man-made resources that are important in the care and promotion of patients’ dental health. Human resources are of course, personified by the people who actually occupy the space.

Furnishings are reserved and refined, suitable to a dental office where the presentation of intangibles such as hygiene and professionalism is so important.

The expressive reference to our natural environment dispels the heightened anxiety usually associated with visits to the dentist and successfully generates a sense of calm and well-being within those who visit or work in the office. Drs. Sekand, Schneider, Singh and Jandoo thank Jean Akerman Interior Design, as well as the Patterson Dental team.