The Ippin dental technician’s office is probably the first office of its kindto be opened in Japan that offers customized services.
In Japan, dental technicians make dentures and dental prosthesesaccording to orders from dentists, sotheir workplaces are hidden behind the scenes. Our client, who has practiced extensivelyin the United States, decided to establish a new dental laboratory where he canwork directly with customers and offer the best customized services. He asked us to create the best spaceto realizethis ambition.
The office is located in a commercial building surrounded bya wedding hall, beauty salons and boutiques. It is in the fashionable district of Omotesando, which is known as “ the avenue of contemporary masterpiece architecture”.
Originally designed for retail stores, the building is enveloped in glass curtain walls, which made it too bright for the technicians to do delicate handwork. The interior is also fully visible from buildings across the streets, so the privacy issue needed to be resolved.
We placed work desks along the glass curtain walls, and installedpartition walls at the same interval as the mullionsin order to hide them.The partition walls are twisted towards the top to control the amount of natural light that enters the space and also to obstruct the view from opposite buildings. Between these walls are personal work booths where technicians are able to concentrate on delicate procedures. We made the smooth curves of these partitions by scraping fire-retardant EPS to the right form and then applyinga urethane coating. We tested various methods and manufacturers in order to realize this form within the budget and construction period. We finally decided on a manufacturer who works on large art works and objects by hand and without any computational procedure.
Dental technicians articulateforms and colors to a precision of a few microns. Such professional skill is in a way comparable to a sculptor’s. The series of twisted walls reminds the viewer of pieces of sculpture on display in a museum. They constitute the facade of the laboratory, acting as a billboard that expresses the laboratory’s outstanding expertise.