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We were recruited by Maida Smiles to deliver a unique and memorable design concept for their high street premises in Maida Vale,” he said. “It needed to be visually engaging while promoting the personality of the clinic,” he said. “This required a progressive and sophisticated design concept in keeping with the advanced cosmetic dentistry and facial aesthetics work which takes place there.

The design inspiration is based around our interpretation of ceramic dental implants which are commonly used in restorative dentistry. This took the form of more than 500 hand-crafted ceramic discs which cover the walls in ahoneycomb-style cluster, providing a modern, clean and clinical edge. The design also features a hidden curvilinear door leading to the main clinical area which effectively disappears when shut blending back into the wall.

We wanted the reception area to communicate with the outside walkway and flow into the public space. The ‘wrap-around’ ceramic wall design with curving corners helps bring movement and provides connection and continuity to the outside realm. The reception desk itself is made of concrete which joins this element to the floor and ceiling while limiting the use of excessive materials.

Another key aspect involved the technical side of the design within the actual dental theatre. Over the years we have built up a deep understanding of workflow, equipment and procedures within world-class surgical and operating areas. There are many factors which must be carefully considered in these live working environments, including careful management of space and the free-flowing movement of surgical teams and patients. Practical and ergonomic solutions for technical equipment, instruments and waste disposal are also fundamental and must work seamlessly with any design concept.

The overall result for Maida Smiles is a minimalist, free-flowing design which maximises the use of space. The custom-made ceramic wall and iconic furniture also work in tandem to create an interesting dynamic affecting surfaces, light and reflection.

PSA was founded in 2003 in Lisbon, Portugal, later establishing offices in Brighton, UK and Maputo, Mozambique. The boutique design team includes 16 members from five countries, delivering high quality projects around the world.

The firm’s global profile in healthcare and dental design has also been boosted by a number of international award wins over the last decade. These include double honours at the British Private Dentistry Awards for Best New Practice and the IIDA Asia Pacific Interior Design Awards (Healthcare Category), with further shortlistings in the Healthcare Category of Archdaily’s Building of the Year Award and INSIDE Festival of Interiors Award.

Mr Silva said the firm’s latest instalment particularly helps illustrates PSA’s artisan design approach involving delicate craftsmanship tailored to individual clients’ needs.

“One of PSA’s greatest strengths is its team and we take great pride in our collaborative design approach as well as our open, honest and transparent working relationship with clients,” said Mr Silva. “We work closely with artists around the world to inform our creative process, drive innovation and develop lasting and meaningful design concepts.

While architecture is largely about problem solving and practical solutions, it is important to us that each and every project receives our signature mark which is built on artistic integrity. The Maida Smiles project is a good case study highlighting this approach.

As we look ahead to 2020 and beyond, we will continue targeting international dental and healthcare projects where our broad international experience and English-language communication skills provide a competitive edge. We also have a long track record working with development agencies, commercial clients and private clients in a number of other distinct markets including commercial offices, hospitality, leisure, housing and retail space. The Portuguese residential market is likely to be a key growth area in the years ahead.

Notable healthcare projects delivered by PSA include Care Implant Dentistry and Chatswood Diagnostic Centre in Australia, T Clinic, Mint Dentistry Clinic and ‘O Meu Dentista’ clinics in Portugal and Spain and Brighton Implant Clinic in the UK.

Architects: Pedra Silva Arquitectos
Photographs: Loop Audiovisual


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