Annie Block -- Interior Design, 2/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Jonathan Levine, DMD, takes a lifestyle approach to oral care. Consider his product line, GoSmile. Among the aromatherapy fluoride toothpastes are an energizing citrus for the morning, a soothing chamomile for nighttime.
A year ago, the renovation he'd begun on his New York office, a 1,700-square-foot duplex purchased in 1990, was not nearly as pleasing to the senses. Then, at the opening party for the nearby Core Club, he fortuitously found himself sipping cocktails with the club's designers, Stonely Pelsinski Architects Neukomm. Four weeks later, Peter Pelsinski had an appointment to discuss what he refers to as "corrective surgery" for Levine's space, GoSmile Aesthetics. The whirlwind three-month project was underway.
During demolition, an immovable transfer beam was discovered above the location that Levine's original designers had designated as the waiting area, meaning that the ceiling couldn't be higher than 8 feet. So, rethinking said plan, lead designer Pelsinski and his fellow principals, Karen Stonely and Jean-Gabriel Neukomm, moved the waiting area to the opposite end of the rectangular space. Here, the ceiling is almost 1 foot higher, and a 10-foot-wide stretch of picture windows faces the street.
Just like Levine, SPAN now proceeded to whiten and brighten. "We were relentless about the sheen of the materials," Pelsinski says. A continuous glossy-white surface undulates through reception, starting as wall paneling, arcing up to form a canopy, and curving down to become the 16-foot-long top of the receptionist's desk. The mirrored base of the desk, which does double duty as a GoSmile product display case, visually enlarges the narrow interior. Gleaming Thassos marble, cut into 2-foot squares, tiles the floor.
Swaths of blue paint and a mix of high-output T5 fluorescent fixtures and halogen accent lighting set a flattering mood. Behind two walls of rift-cut oak veneer lies file storage for 4,000 patients.
Because of his booming practice, Levine needed SPAN to make space where there wasn't any. A rabbit warren of rooms now opened up, the dentist gained a more spacious lab, plus a shower in his office and six re configured and enlarged treatment rooms, two downstairs and four up. "We married the design intent to hygiene," Pelsinski says of these essential components. "Materials are super-resilient and cleanable."
Continuing the sheen theme, a round structural column clad in stainless steel anchors the vestibule around which SPAN arranged the upstairs treatment rooms and lab. The rooms' translucent glass doors open to reveal white plastic laminate on cabinetry and white vinyl on walls—every surface subtly textured. "Details like that provide scale and residential-style comfort," Pelsinski explains.
Immaculately white faux suede covers the dental chairs. In the next six months, SPAN will install an iPod docking station by each—that'll really make Levine's patients go smile.