Park Theme Peaks Client’s Passion

Dr. Mandana Nikoui, a pediatric dentist in Ottawa, had just purchased a property in which to establish her new practice when she fortuitously happened across a feature in Dental Practice Management highlighting a pediatric office that had recently opened in Oakville, ON. Impressed by the child-friendly environment that had been accomplished there by the Toronto-based firm of Jean Akerman Interior Design, she contacted the firm.

They soon determined that a “park” concept would be an ideal way to answer the criteria for a relaxing, non-age specific, and visually distracting environment for young children, teens, and accompanying family members.

The first challenge was to create a workable layout for the office within the confines of the existing 1960s-style cedar-clad building, which had formerly been occupied by an insurance company. Two “wings” branching out from a centre core presented spatial and logistical challenges, and though it was clear from the outset that certain walls would be demolished, budgetary concerns and certain structural elements dictated that many existing elements would have to be retained and accommodated.

Collaboration between Jean Akerman and the planning team at Patterson Dental resulted in a viable solution for the space layout. Taking advantage of the centre core’s peaked roofline, Jean conceived a unique entrance focal point–a stylized gazebo that would serve as the greeting and business area.

The design team then set about concepting different “park” themes and developing the details for the various office areas. It was decided that the cedar planks cladding the centre core walls would be painted out in a sunny sky-blue colour to enhance the outdoor feeling, and the beamed ceiling would be painted white to visually lighten, brighten, and “lift” it from the gazebo roof. Glazed doors linking the wings of the office to the central core would keep the office “open” by offering partial views between areas while providing a sound barrier. Local artist Jacques Meilleur meticulously created the proposed murals and three-dimensional detailing, and general contractor Marco D’Angelus executed the buildout.

“Dr. Nikoui’s friendly, soft-spoken personality is well reflected in the project’s design concept,” says the designer. Instead of primary colours we opted for a gentler, but spirited palette that she preferred. The park concept not only delights the little ones, it also brings out the romance of youth in all of us.”