TSC Architects prioritizes garden views as an alternative to “scary” dental clinics

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Natural materials and expansive windows that overlook a garden create a welcoming and comfortable atmosphere at a dental clinic in Japan. The Dentistry Coexisting with Nature project, designed by local studio TSC Architects, is located on a sloping site in Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, surrounded by trees and a bamboo grove.

Rather than altering the site, TSC Architects aimed to design a building that seamlessly “coexists” with its natural surroundings, providing an alternative to the typical “artificial” feeling found in many healthcare spaces.

The studio explained that the goal was to create a clinic where patients could relax and anticipate their visits, dispelling the common perception of dental clinics as scary and painful places. “We designed the clinic’s architecture as a place where you can experience healing,” said TSC Architects.

The examination rooms of the clinic are situated off a central corridor that zig-zags across the site to accommodate the existing plants. To the west, the building is raised off the ground to accommodate a three-meter change in elevation.

Waiting areas line the corridor, offering views of the garden through full-height glass windows. The check-up rooms are enclosed by walls that stop short of the ceiling, providing an open and airy ambience.

Access to the clinic is provided by a ramp along the northern side of the site, ensuring that all visitors have the same arrival experience with views of nature.

TSC Architects described the experience of walking through the clinic as “walking along a green path,” thanks to the open corridor that resembles a long road. The design preserves as much of the existing planting as possible, creating various rooms that are scattered throughout the site, with differences in elevation.

The clinic features sloping roofs with large eaves that provide shade to the external paths and gardens. The exterior is covered in tiles of different sizes that complement the building’s facades.

Inside, the timber roof structure’s trusses are exposed, contributing to a minimalist material palette of wood, concrete, and plaster that adds warmth to the interiors.

The Dentistry Coexisting with Nature project has recently been longlisted in the health and well-being project category of the prestigious Dezeen Awards 2023.

Other dental clinics featured on Dezeen include a surgery in Antwerp with an interior inspired by art galleries, designed by Norm Architects, and one in Amsterdam with khaki-green communal areas, designed by i29.

Photography for this article is courtesy of TSC Architects.

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