Minimalissimo


This dental clinic in Porto, Portugal designed by Paulo Merlini Architects is not what you would have expected from a visit to the dentist. In an open double height reception area with treatment rooms on the second floor, the design of the interiors are minimalistic but not clinical. The shape of the pitched roof remains visible on the interior as intended by the architect so that the patients feel more familiar and comfortable.

Yet it is the details of the architecture and finishes that drew me to this project. The round pendants drop low enough to emphasize the scale of the reception area. Looking up directly at them without canopies at the ceiling, it seem as though they go on up infinitely. A small window next to the top of the stair reveals the silhouette of the patient waiting in line. And the graceful detail of the steel stair in its most minimal construction that connects the levels seems to just disappear into a cove. These details are incredibly well thought out and delivered so elegantly in the architecture. They are creative and unexpected, which creates a rather interesting and pleasant visit to the dentist.

Photographs by Joao Morgado.

 

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