I hate going to the dentist. But if I lived in Berlin, I would gladly go to The Urban Dentist. Instead of your regular squeaky-clean doctor’s office, this looks like a cool club or a cocktail bar.
No wonder: The Urban Dentist space was designed by architectural firm Studio Karhard, which designed the Berghain in Berlin, the world’s most famous nightclub. It’s a sleek place that, according to its creators, invites patients to be “relaxed and fearless.” “We avoided typical materials like glossy white surfaces and used colorful materials and dark colors to create a warm and friendly atmosphere,” Studio Karhard’s cofounder Alexandra Erhard told me over email.
There’s a compelling logic at play. Dental phobia impacts an estimated 5% to 10% of the population, and one study found that nearly 60% of participants reported dental anxiety. It stands to reason that a serene environment could help ease patients’ stress.
When the clients–dentists Mohammed Alef , Sang-ji Kim, and Venelina Dimitrov–approached Studio Karhard with the proposal to design a new 3,875-square-foot space, Erhard and her partner Thomas Karsten came up with a concept that included some features the studio normally employs in club design: mirrors, ambient lighting, rough materials. The office also has programmable lighting–evident through backlit glass elements–that constantly changes the look and feel of the atmosphere, and is meant to have a calming effect.
The treatment rooms look more traditional, but are still surprisingly stylish: They feature customized furniture with brass framing, powder pink linoleum, and a colorful tabletop made of natural stone terrazzo.
It’s so cool, I want to party there. I mean, add the muzak and some clinical-level drugs and it won’t feel that much different from the actual Berghain. Plus, this time they will actually let you in.