This building is an example of successful medium density, mixed-use development in a suburban shopping strip. It was commissioned by two dentists who wanted to expand their small, single shopfront business into the shop next door. Their architect recognised the potential of the site and the projected local development and responded with a landmark building that has provided positive impacts for both the clients and the local area.
The positive social impact is manifest in several respects. Firstly, the building is widely regarded as an excellent example of progressive development in the local shopping precinct. The building represents all the objectives of the Council's Development Structure Plan and has set a precedent for the quality of local development. The success of this was reflected by Council recently nominating this building as a finalist in the categories of Best New Building (Commercial) and Most Creative Design (Commercial) in the 2012 Built Environment Awards to be announced next month.
The second area in which this building has made a positive impact is the dental business for which the building was commissioned. Although there has been an industry-wide decline in dental appointments, since the completion of this building, the client has received an increase in patronage - in terms of both bookings by existing patrons and enquiries by new patrons. Those patrons have also indicated that they regard the new building as more in keeping with the high standards of dentistry being practised. The dentists now feel that their new premises are well suited to their business model and target market. The additional space has also allowed them to expand the capacity of the business and provide ancillary services that were previously not feasible in their original building. Furthermore, the building's high standard of finish has assisted the client to secure a premium commercial tenant for the first floor. This is evidence that the aim to make the building a prominent hub for health and dental related services has been successful.
The environmental effectiveness of this building will become evident over the longer term. The client has operated their business in this area for over twenty-five years and their brief called for a building that would comfortably last the next thirty-five. By developing a building that has a high quality, well insulated shell and adaptable floor plates the architects have provided a good basis for an extended longevity of the building. The scheme also represents an intensive utilisation of the site - thus mitigating any future desire for redevelopment.
The design of this building is highly original both in form, innovation and spatial quality. The design was inspired by the craft of dentistry and the expression of qualities such as translucency, reflection, depth, solidity, surface and composition. Wall planes are folded, incised and separated to transform an otherwise box-like form into a cluster of crisp elements. The result is a distinctive and sculptural building that is an example of how effective considered and inspired architecture can be for both clients and the community.