This is the building of an orthodontic dentist’s office planned in a residential area in the suburbs of Hachioji City, Tokyo. A two-story dentist’s office and a parking lot for five cars were planned in part of a quiet residential area close to the JR Hachioji Minamino Station.
Originally the site was filled up by about 1.5 m higher than the frontal road level. The majority of the fill was cut down to eliminate the difference in level, thereby realizing smooth access from the road level to the entrance of the building without any stairs.
The building is made up of six boxes of different proportions in three layers, the composition of which is reminiscent of building bricks. To begin with, three boxes are arranged with some space in-between, and two boxes are placed over the spaces, with another one box additionally put on these two. Each box is given the impression of being massive by repairing the entire fair-faced concrete surface of the external wall to fill joints and form-tie holes so that the built-up look is intensely emphasized.
While the interior space looks in principle sharp because of the achromatic finish with different brightnesses, a softening effect that lessens the special atmosphere of tension that people may feel in a dental clinic is provided by using wooden features such as wooden flooring, wooden furniture, and wooden partitions at various places in the interior.
The first floor has medical-related rooms arranged, including a reception, waiting room, examination rooms, consultation room, and sterilization laboratory, while the second floor has the director’s room, doctors’ room, and staff room.
Since the boxes put on the two spaces in which the waiting room and the corridor for examination rooms are laid out are empty with no underside, each of the two spaces has been made as a void with a height of over 5 m.
Carefully striving to find a balance between a symbolic composition reminiscent of building bricks and the space created out of it, we aimed at realizing a dentist’s office rich in diversity and comfortable to be in.