Where is comfort more important than at the dentist? This is what Kohki Hiranuma must have been thinking when he designed a dental practice whose function becomes clear only at second glance. Located in quiet surroundings and accomplished in demure materials, this is a place where patients will feel quite at home.
Architect: Kohki Hiranuma Architect & Associates Location: Minoh City, Osaka Prefecture, Japan
In terms of shape and size, this two-storey building fits easily into its environment; all the same, its light appearance and choice of materials make it a real eye-catcher in this small city. The roof, which arches to the west, sets a clearly modern accent, yet its shape allows it to blend in with its neighbouring buildings. At first, the white exterior walls call to mind our traditional image of a dental practice. However, according to the architect, they are meant to evoke associations of Japanese cherry blossoms. Extensive glazing and thresholds flush to the ground mean a fluid transition from exterior to interior space. Furthermore, they provide broad views both into and out of the building. Despite the contrast between the white outer shell and the warm wood, the architect has succeeded in creating not only a harmonious interplay of materials, but indisputably a space which conveys a sense of well-being.
Project dataMaterial: wood Site area: 157.61 m² Building area: 97.29 m² Living space: 144.23 m² Completion: Juni 2014 Structural engineer: Masahiro Inayama Team: Shigeo Kawazoe, Koichi Minami, Reiko Sudo, Saburo Nishimura