Under the influence
Edie Cohen -- Interior Design, 11/1/2003 12:00:00 AM
Anthony Galvan, DDS, didn't overdo the nitrous oxide. If his dental practice in San Ramon, California, looks like a psychedelic light show, that's thanks to Logue Studio Design. For his first health-care project, principal Michael Logue experimented not with anesthetics but rather with fiber optics.
The concept for the 2,100-square-foot space began with Logue imagining himself in the dental chair. Could it be a comfortable experience? Would it help for the design to relate to nature—or nature in the abstract?
Logue ultimately filtered his imaginary land and sea views through the work of Mark Rothko. As part of the process, the designer painted a series of watercolors using two color fields. "Blue fading into green referenced a pasture, while dark green fading into light green was a rain forest," he explains. After developing a total of eight schemes, he had them translated into fiber-optic technology to fit the office's floor plan.
Its main components—deployed along a wide corridor—are three elliptical forms of aluminum-framed translucent acrylic panels aglow with colored light. The first ellipse is the reception desk, with a Corian counter topping the aluminum and acrylic and concealing the lighting technology. The other two ellipses are the operatories, with aluminum extrusions accommodating the fiber-optic network. For all three, the lights can be programmed to change daily or hourly; manual-adjustment and continual-loop options confer additional flexibility.
Across the corridor—whose fiber optics are concealed behind a dropped ceiling of perforated aluminum—is Dr. Galvan's back-of-house: equipment storage, a darkroom, a sterilization center, and his office. Logue painted the latter Day-Glo orange, aside from an accent wall of white textured acrylic tile from Japan.
While the main draw of the $145-per-square-foot project is intangible, the interior does feature a full quotient of high-end material accoutrements elevating the design from the norm. The custom nylon carpet, for example, is a striated pattern of beiges and grays. "They start out light and get darker," Logue says of the graduated colors, a reference to the changing cast of the environment. Blond birch sliding doors, 10 feet high, appear throughout. And how many dentists offer white lacquered-plastic Verner Panton chairs in the waiting room?