The orthodontic practice of Dr Tina Bayr and Dr Dominik Spaeth is located in the second oldest building in Ueberlingen, on Lake Constance in Germany, which was built in 1601. Previously the building was used as a restaurant.
Architects Atelier H-2-A faced a few design challenges during the renovation as the exterior façade, wooden beams and interior columns were held under a preservation law.
Another challenge was to form a correspondence between a rich, historic past and a new interior installation. The solution came through the use of reflections – creating 3-dimensional bent security glass surfaces that are placed within various substructures. A glass intervention projects wave patterns onto the ceiling of the historic building.
These creative constructions also act as animal-inspired sculptures that not only divide the space but provoke fantasies of big, blue whales and increase spatial movement.
The elements of the dental chairs and the green glass wall appear as one entity, as the metal structure and the support of the glass wall are produced in the same colour as the technical accessories of the dental chairs. Lighting elements located above the dental chairs provide optimised lighting for the intense work space.
The geometric form of these morphing walls is also reflected in the design of the reception desk, which connects all spaces in a seemingly single swoop. The glass walls – filled with flowing colours – reflect light onto the surrounding ceiling and walls, transforming a once-feared dental visit into a deep aquarium atmosphere.
The design intention of the floor was to create a homogeneous, concrete-like, aseptic and slip-proof surface. Cast resin was not an option, as the movements of the old building fabric didn’t allow the use of this material.
The principal architect for this project, Mona Bayr, MSc Dipl.-Ing, of Atelier H-2-A, decided that the solution was to use 600x600mm cement-tinted ceramic tiles in Silver colour instead, with very thin joints in the same colour. These were Mirage Cementi tiles manufactured by Mirage Granito Ceramico of Pavullo, Italy.
The challenge of the floor was the installation of the technical supply lines – the water tubes, the electric lines and the compressed air line for the dental chairs, which necessitated the excavation of the existing floor.
At the same time the floor heating was renewed in the area of the ‘yellow room’, but for the installation of the supply lines in the old part of the building (in the ‘green room’), channels needed to be milled out of the existing floor to accommodate the installed water tubes of the floor heating.
However, the highlight of the floor in the practice is certainly the unique SkyTech Liquid Floor Tile, which has been described as the hottest new trend in flooring today.
This is an 800x800mm bulletproof tempered glass tile that is filled with coloured gel. They are simply installed with a dab of silicone in each corner and are then caulked. When stepped on the tile has the ability to flex slightly, and the gel moves and creates images according to the steps on the tile.
These tiles are available in a multitude of vibrant colours from manufacturer Thema s.r.l. in Via dell’elettronica, Spezzano di Fiorano, Italy, who supplied two colours (grey aluminium and blue) for this project, and Skytech liquid floor tiles can even be customised with corporate logos to meet customer requirements.