When Sydney dentist, Wendy Cui set up her own practice she wanted an affordable space in a convenient shopping centre location with room for three surgeries.
A simple sounding brief, but one that many said couldn’t be done.
That’s exactly the sort of challenge that Commodore Dental and Medical Fitouts is used to tackling. From the smallest single, two and three-chair practices, to the largest multi-chair dental and medical fit-outs, including demolitions and repurposing old buildings.
Clemton Park Dental is a scratch built practice in the attractive new Clemton Park Shopping Village surrounded by quality brand new apartments that has revitalised the Sydney suburb of Campsie.
Dr Cui said Clemton Park’s new shopping centre and influx of new residents was the ideal location for a new dental practice with good passing traffic, ample parking, cafes and restaurants as well as a major supermarket and specialty retail outlets.
After looking for ideas, including canvassing opinions on online dental forums and speaking to other surgery companies and private builders, Dr Cui selected Commodore Dental and Medical Fitouts to tackle the project.
“The main problem I had was that everyone said I couldn’t fit three rooms, but this was important to me as I wanted to potential to expand down the track.”
However, Commodore Dental and Medical Fitouts was able to come up with a plan that gave the needed number of surgeries in a sensible floor plan that does not feel at all cramped or compromised in any way.
Dr Cui first met the company’s principal, Craig Exley at the Commodore Dental and Medical Fitouts stand at the Australian Dental Exhibition (ADX) in Sydney. “I have also worked in a practice at Eastwood that Craig fitted out and it was done very well,” Dr Cui said.
“I really liked the joinery Commodore Fitouts designed and I got more drawers and cabinets than other fit-out companies would have provided.”
Working with Commodore Fitouts’ in-house designer, Dr Cui sent a series of online ‘scrapbook’ images to generate some contemporary design inspiration.
“Commodore helped me with the colour selection and I wanted to avoid blue which has been used by just about everyone and the lime green you see in many newer surgeries and instead come up with a ‘fresh’ look.
“It is a small space of only 68 square metres so I wanted it to look bigger by using bright colours and avoid dark floor boards which would have made it feel small.”
After conducting a Google search for ‘light colours’ and researching how colours link with emotions, Dr Cui decided on a main palette of yellow. Yellow came up as ‘bright’ and ‘happy’ and can apparently also help influence purchase decisions, which is most likely why Coles and McDonalds use it.
Dr Cui emailed her ideas and Commodore’s designer came up with a design incorporating yellow together with grey and white, accented with light wood grain flooring and feature wall panels. The combination has been incorporated into a geometric design using acrylic strips applied to the waiting room wall, which adds perspective and a feeling of depth to the narrow space.
The white, yellow and greys including timber look flooring in the hallway and whitewash grey coloured wood grain cabinetry in the surgeries, gives a bright, modern and contemporary feel. Remarkably, the high quality and stylish finish has been achieved without breaking the bank.
Being a leasehold property and her first practice, Dr Cui explained that she did not want to over-invest in the fit-out and appears to have struck the perfect balance.
“I’m very happy with the quality of build. Commodore Fitouts was one of the more competitive prices, but didn’t compromise on quality and Craig Exley personally supervised the project and gave input on all the design aspects including how to fit in the three surgeries.”
Since opening Dr Cui has received many positive comments from patients who have told her they like the colours and also the bold surgery numbers emblazoned on the hallway walls.
The surgeries are the minimum practical size in relation to the size of the dental equipment, but the computer designed and laser-cut L-shaped cabinetry still provides room to move, plus parent seating and ample storage space.
Being a scratch build off the plan meant the space was a blank canvas that gave plenty of flexibility to come up with a proven and workable design to support three rooms.
The floor plan includes a reception desk and compact waiting room at the front and a central hallway. Two existing and a future surgery open off the right hand side of the hallway, with a private office and an OPG room along the left hand side behind reception.
A combined sterilisation room and lab is located at the end of the hall on the left hand side with a compact bathroom located discretely at the end of the hallway.
One of the space saving measures is the incorporation of the suction unit into an insulated plant room cabinet embedded in the end wall of the steri room and the location of the compressor remotely in the common area of the shopping centre complex.
Although there is room for a small staff amenities area inside the practice, one of the advantages of the location within the shopping village is the proximity to a choice of cafes and takeaway food outlets, which means staff do not have to stay inside on meal breaks, but are able to nip out to nearby cafes or enjoy the sun in the open forecourt with its built-in benches and garden beds.