Dr. Carolyn PoonWoo and the designers, Bruce Stratton and Stephanie Kamburis of Southside Design, wanted to create a calm, welcoming, and technologically-advanced dental office. An existing one-story building with a basement was purchased by the client and completely renovated. The facility includes five operatories for a variety of dental procedures, as well as six hygiene rooms.

The reception area is visually connected to Bloor Street West, one of the busiest streets in Toronto. Tall, clear tempered glass panels mark the front façade with limestone cladding that frames the glass opening. A copper canopy marks the entrance. The reception desk is long and curvilinear as a visual departure to the rectilinear plan. Rich walnut veneer with a quartz top was selected for the reception desk. The exterior limestone extends into the reception area acting as a backdrop to the main desk. The LED lighting is soft and subdued. Over the reception area, backlit colored translucent acrylic panels have been incorporated. Tuxedo sofas and a Noguchi coffee table complete the reception.

The operatories and hygiene room are accessible off a main corridor that runs through the center of the space. A skylight brings natural light to the center of the space. An acoustic treatment over the dental chairs relies on walnut panels with sound absorption material as part of the composition of the panel. The operatories have a “rear” delivery system with a cabinet unit that contains the various instruments that the dentists use. Hidden from view are lead-lined walls to protect against x-ray transmissions, nitrous oxide tanks and lines, multiple compressor units required to operate dental instruments, and extensive structural support for microscopes. Lab and sterilization areas were also integrated into both the main floor and basement level.

The biggest design challenge was dealing with the limitations of the existing building. The front of the building was completely demolished and rebuilt. All of the mechanical and electrical systems were completely replaced. A stair was added to connect the main and lower levels, as well as a new roof.