By Danny Chan
Nestled within a heritage-listed property on 2 Collins Street, one of Melbourne CBD’s main arteries, the clinic is surrounded by 1930s architecture that holds historical significance to the State of Victoria. Dr Gitika Sanghvi, Owner and Principal Dentist of Alcaston Dental Care, wanted to preserve the period character within her own practice design while refreshing the staid interiors.
The dentist started working at ADC in 2014 when she bought into the practice as an associate. Having bought the rest of the practice in 2018, Dr Sanghvi felt a physical facelift was overdue last year. She picked LDA, a healthcare fitout specialist, based on good word of mouth and positive vibes following initial face meetings.
“We needed a revamp as the practice hadn’t really been renovated much in the past. I wanted to keep the warm, welcoming feel of our practice as well as highlight the period and art deco features. Many of our patients have been coming to this practice for a very long time, so it was important for the practice to still have the same welcoming feel as before.”
“I was a little worried that after the refurbishment, the practice might feel too clinical and impersonal. In terms of clinical workflow, I really wanted the steri to be a self-contained space. I also wanted to future proof the clinic so that I had options to add more tech in the long term.”
In summary, the goal was to create a space where the old meets the new in a tasteful and welcoming environment – without compromising on practical function, patient comfort or that sense of familiarity.
Looking at the interiors, it’s not hard to appreciate how Levitch Design Australia has seamlessly integrated all these elements. The revamped 100-sqm space is an exquisitely presented clinic in which millennial hipsters and art deco lovers can happily co-exist.
The warmth and familiarity of the beloved family practice is lovingly preserved, along with tasteful reminders of the building’s rich tradition and heritage. The contemporary feel is brought out by the minimalist decor, bright airy spaces and snazzy equipment – such as the slim flip-out overhead screens inside the surgeries. The elemental balance of tradition and modernity is evident throughout the clinic.
In one of the surgeries, an old fireplace has been closed up and repurposed into an elegant mantelpiece that blends flawlessly with the bespoke cabinetry. Its classical look offers a unique twist to a room geared and wired for clinical expedience. Over at the waiting room, a large format photograph of gleaming skyscrapers is juxtaposed with old-glam furnishings – blue velvety chairs with gold-coloured legs and gold-framed glass displays.
With the help of an Instagram picture, Dr Sanghvi had showed the Levitch designers a particular shade of blue that she wanted for the cabinets. What resulted from that input is probably the most prominent facet of the entire design.
Indeed, one of the first things you’ll notice are these dark navy blue cabinets with shiny rounded gold handles. Paired with glossy white counter tops, the fetching hues and quaint design of the cabinets evoke a timeless quality without that chintzy look. They effectively break the monotony of the white walls and furnishings with subdued yet posh elegance.
The overall environment is cosy and tranquil owing to a blend of natural light and warm down-lights. Thanks to character-filled cabinets and a grand reception counter that harks back to a glitzier time, the clinic possesses a somewhat offbeat personality that works a treat for jaded eyes.
“We are just really happy with the complete outcome. Personally, I am in love with the colours and lighting that we have in our practice,” Dr Sanghvi gushes. “The lighting features have added something different and the handles on our cabinets are amazing. (LDA) really stuck to the period of the building and made sure that everything tied in.”
In terms of patient and operator comfort, the dentist reports equally positive feedback:
“Our patients love the space and always comment on how beautiful and relaxing it feels. Our staff love the amount of storage we’ve managed to fit into the practice, and the size of our sterilisation room now. Brooke is super happy with her new desk at reception and how much space she has to work in now.”
The general practitioner has full praise for the Levitch team that made the transformation possible while highlighting several key personnel: Interior Designer Kay; Project Manager Carl; Project Consultant Ben; Project Manager Michael; and even the tradespeople who were “really lovely and accommodating to our requests”.
“Everyone tried their best to make sure that we were functional as soon as possible. They were good about completing details before and after business hours so not as to disturb us and our patients,” Dr Sanghvi enthuses.
“Speed and turnaround was good – they did as much as they could to fit into our timeline. Cost wise, it ended up costing as much as I thought it would.”
Reiterating the importance of maintaining a familiar atmosphere to which the clinic’s loyal patients would feel belonged, the dentist is pleased with the way the designers kept her clued in throughout the process – updating her with images and colour samples so that there were no surprises. The same level of efficiency and work ethic, she attests, was also evident throughout the construction process. The grateful dentist takes the opportunity to individually acknowledge the Levitch team members:
“Thank you to Ben, Carl, Kay, Michael and the team at Levitch.”