17 May Clinic in the Woods / Takashige Yamashita Office
Clinic in the Woods / Takashige Yamashita Office
Text description provided by the architects. The project is a pediatric dental & orthodontic clinic located in Saitama, Japan. The area around the site has been largely occupied by zelkova trees for centuries, some of which still remains in the garden of the client. There stand residential properties and dentistry the client’s family has run for last 60 years surrounded by the greenery. The existing clinic mainly offers regular dental care while it occasionally treats orthodontic and pediatric patients. Along with the increasing demands for latter services, the client decided to build an annex for dental and orthodontic treatments for children.
We have suggested a clinic standing among and along with the plants around the site, as part of the flow of landscape from the client’s garden to the town. Mixed up with the small forests introduced in between the volumes and soaring through the roof, the treatment rooms offer a calm, comfortable scene embraced in nature that would soothe the anxiety of little patients.
The shrubs also work as an adequate privacy safeguards for each area. Besides the dental practice, the clinic also provides a gym space for chiropractic and exercise programs planned in conjunction with medical treatments, based on a belief of the client in the idea “Oral health comes with overall physical and mental health.” The variety of material use on exterior/interior wall and floor of each volume and changing floor height gives the space a playful spirit the visitors may enjoy.
The relationship between the roof and each volume also varies – touching at the edge, offset, cut by, penetrating through -, somehow all these elements are brought together under the dull reflective silver roof. The continuing mountain-and-valley roof covering the rooms and courtyards is perforated occasionally allowing sunlight penetration to the ground floor, enough for growing plants underneath.
Its folded shape, which resembles the gable roofs of the neighboring houses, structurally enables a self-supportive system with a minimum amount of column. The roof stretches out and forms a cantilever canopy at the entrance plaza and over the front garden open towards the street. Surrounded by greenery and trees, not only does the clinic create a relaxing atmosphere for young patients but it actually offers a space to embrace and grow them.