Sharing premises can be difficult, especially when the available space is uninviting. ARCA Unlimited used reclaimed timber and natural light to provide Smile Solutions Dental Studio with a rejuvenated look that is designed for well-being. 

Creating space 

The building was hidden behind a high brick wall, with small dark spaces arranged around a service yard. A large section of the perimeter wall was demolished and replaced with a transparent steel gate and fence, providing views from the road through the reception area to the courtyard.  

Floor finishes alternate between white terrazzo and reclaimed teak. Both floor and wall finishes are repeated on the interior and exterior, blurring the lines between inside and outside spaces. 

Natural finishes 

Floor finishes alternate between white terrazzo tiles and reclaimed teak parquet. 

Nature and healing are synonymous, a concept pertinent in spaces that are designed for well-being. The service yard was transformed into a landscaped courtyard where oval shapes and spiralling curves provide relief to the otherwise rigid geometry, a loose play on the similarities between dentistry and Japanese landscape gardens. 

The presence of timber and flora has an uplifting psychological effect on patients and other users of the space. Timber is optically the heaviest element in the rooms, and juxtaposed with largely transparent wall treatments, provides both a sense of substance and trust. 

Sustainable design 

A planter falls directly below the skylight, which reduces the island effect from sunlight passing through into the space. The absorption of heat is also beneficial at night, as it warms up the space during cooler times. 

Client comment: “We love the real timber floors! The striking design is well received by patients and is regularly a talking point. Stress levels are much reduced, not only for patients but also for the dental personnel. We could not be happier with the end-result.” 

For more information, contact ARCA Unlimited: 

Tel: +27 12 346 4023 



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