Even if you cannot remember the last time you went to the doctor’s in detail, I am pretty sure that you will remember that the reception desk had not received any special design treatment. A reception desk with an Apple perched on it for all to see is already "special". A practice where the interior design and the lighting are exceptionally pleasing tends to notch up plus points fast. If the practice is dedicated to cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine, it goes without saying that the interior architecture will radiate a certain aesthetic. Light and shadow are especially important in this world. Light renders skin blemishes and impurities visible, but it also reveals true beauty.
When it comes to plastic surgery the patient, or should we say client, needs to develop a relationship of trust with those who are providing the treatment. What Michael Jackson and Renee Zellweger went through gives more cause for serious concern than anything else. Just as cleanliness and hygiene should be the standard in every medical practice, the design in a practice for cosmetic or plastic surgery should radiate an aesthetic quality that unequivocally represents the outlook and conception of the doctors and staff who work there. In this day and age, for many beauty is a luxury that can be bought.
Entourage Esthetic Medical Solutions SA is a Swiss company specialising in cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine. Unlike cosmetic or plastic surgery, most aesthetic medicine procedures are minimally-invasive, require no general anesthesia or scalpel and are associated with little or no social downtime. Treatments can be performed during the lunch break and the person undergoing treatment can usually go straight back to work afterwards. The implants and injectables used at Entourage are resorbable. The effects of treatments are therefore reversible, which greatly reduces the risk of long-term complications.
The client was looking for a solution for an aesthetic clinic space with a number of consultation rooms (for care treatment) and an operating room for cosmetic surgery: a clinic design based on a futuristic and sustainable concept with the opportunity to copy and paste the concept in other locations in Switzerland.
The prime challenge for the designers was to create an atmosphere that would appeal to both male and female clientele without resorting to the Zen-like atmosphere which is so frequently – and poorly – applied in many "aesthetic" clinics, usually featuring bamboo, wenge wood, candles and the like. Preference was given to state-of-the-art technology as opposed to uncontrolled naturalness. The target group Entourage focuses on were to perceive this project as a new, very special, and futuristic place where they have the feeling they are in a pleasant, relaxing space, which at the same time offers the care treatments and high-tech services (provided by an aesthetic clinic) that they are looking for.
The materials selected for the walls were anodised aluminium and oiled oak. The wood was also used for a part of the furniture designed by the architects. The reception is made of black concrete, and linoleum/ PVC used for the floor covering. The walls in the consultation rooms are painted in dusty grey (RAL 7037) and the furniture is made of laminated wood.
Linear LED lighting has been integrated into the architecture, defining the geometry of the space and enhancing the materials applied. The idea was to make the space feel light and airy, as if the walls are floating, so the users and clients actually forget that they are in the basement of the building and rather gain the impression they are experiencing a whole new world that has been created for them!
The cool white light radiated by the LED strips works extremely well with the aluminium panels in the corridors, the corrugated surface of the panels helping to soften the austere geometry of the spaces. And in the consultation rooms soft effects generated by the backlit mirror elements make for a special aesthetic that communicates an aura of positive supremacy and perfection. The grey backdrop provided by the walls and furnishings underscores the air of discretion and restraint.
The project is a fine example of aesthetic quality in a special field of application: unobtrusive and apparently simple, but of high design quality.
Client: Entourage Esthetic Medical Solutions SA
Architecture and design: Ralph Germann architectes
Corporate design: François Dulex