Anyone filled with a sense of dread by upcoming teeth cleanings will be happy to learn that a new generation of dental clinics is looking to help. The team at Antwerp’s Dentology+ recently set out to reframe oral hygiene as a form of self-care, banishing memories of anxious trips to sterile environments by enlisting the “soft minimalism” specialists at Copenhagen studio Norm Architects. “We like things simple, but not so minimal that they become cold and uninviting,” explains Norm Architects partner Sofie Thorning. Here, her firm’s approach sees pared-back rooms enriched by tactile flourishes selected for their calming and comforting properties.
The clinic’s two floors express distinct but overlapping identities. The basement, with its low ceiling and sparse natural light, mimics a cavern to evoke feelings of safety and quietude. By contrast, the high-ceilinged upper floor soaks visitors in warmth and light. Oak veneer wall panels are paired with elegant fabrics (like a breezy translucent curtain that admits sunlight into a clinic room) and a leather-wrapped railing in reception ensures hands aren’t met with cold metal.
Throughout both floors, hallway niches showcase intriguing sculptures and floral arrangements. Adding to this meditative quality are orb lights that lie somewhere between ceremonial candles and HAL 9000’s sci-fi lens — a fitting representation of the setting’s careful balance of tranquillity and efficiency.
Thorning is glad to see the dental industry’s curiosity about design beginning to grow. “There’s a stronger awareness of what the spaces we inhabit can do to our well-being,” she says. “Comforting spaces are healing and do people good.” The serene and spa-like Dentology+ is certainly doing its part to coax nervous patients through the dental clinic butterflies.
Dentology+ reframes dental hygiene as a form of self-care and Norm Architects designs a serene calming clinic to match.