It must be hard being a dentist. Your clients are seldom pleased to see you, faced with the prospect of either physical or fiscal pain. It doesn't seem like the kind of work you would want to take home with you, either. However, this combined dental surgery and residence in Sydney puts paid to these stereotypes.
The Federation-style bungalow has been refurbished and extended to create a modern, relaxing environment for cosmetic and implant dentistry, as well as a living space that can be converted to commercial use in the future.
Cosmetic dentist Dr George Pegios commissioned Arclinea Design to convert the bungalow into a suite of offices and consulting rooms. Also, a highly modern addition houses three surgeries, a sterilisation room and a three-bedroom, 250m2 family home. The combined home-and-surgery concept arose when this property, across the road from Pegios' original practice, came on the market, says architect Dino Raccanello.
"It was a Federation-style house on quite a large block of land. The original concept was to have a surgery and a freestanding house, but that couldn't be done because of the zoning," he says. "We didn't particularly want to keep the house, which was quite ordinary, but because of time constraints and because the streetscape was virtually intact, we decided to retain it."
The brickwork of the bungalow was rendered and painted for a more contemporary, but not too dramatic, look. The simple, five-room home now has new timber floors throughout, contrasting with clean white walls.
"We stripped it right down; took off the usual kitchen lean-to additions at the back and pared it down to its original form," says Raccanello. "We then renovated the interior without keeping any of the architectural detailing, such as the pressed ceilings and mouldings. We just took the layout and dimensions of the Federation house and gave it a contemporary feel."
This part of the building contains a reception and waiting area, offices and administration space. The double-storey addition, which is not visible from the road, is accessed via a glazed walkway over a Japanese-style pond. Patients pass through this glowing tunnel into the surgeries, which overlook the pool and garden.
"We tried to avoid a sterile, surgical feel, and kept everything very clean, very Zen, very calming. There are no bright colours - it is all very subdued," says the architect. "You walk across the garden and have the calming effect of the water, then when you're in the surgeries you have something to look out on."
Raccanello describes the extension as a very contemporary, steel-framed glass box. "The idea was to make it a real contrast, rather than continuing the Federation style," he says.
On the same level as the surgeries is the kitchen, dining and main living area of the residential portion of the building. This open-plan area has been designed to double as a seminar space, the look kept simple in case of future conversion to commercial use.
"Eventually, the dental practice may take over the whole building, so we chose a floorplate, plan and finishes that would work in a commercial sense as well. Currently the open-plan living area is used for presentations to patients and seminars with other professionals on the different types of procedures, and the kitchen is used for catering."
In keeping with this, a limited palette of finishes is used throughout. The colour scheme is neutral, with the same timber floors as in the Federation bungalow. Bathrooms are simply tiled and painted, and the kitchen is finished in white polyurethane to blend in with the walls and Carrara marble benchtops.
Upstairs are three bedrooms, two bath-rooms, including an ensuite, and a second living area, which is open to a double-height void above the main living area.
"This gives you a sense of dimension and space, and makes the whole area look a lot larger than it is," says Raccanello.