Photo by Alvis Rozenbergs

The design solutions of LAVA dental studio are aimed at creating a pleasant experience for the client. Expressive materials, original details and a holistic approach are changing perceptions of medical institution design.

Stories Editorial March 16, 2021

When creating LAVA dental studio, its founder Vladislavs Aleksejevs wanted to break the stereotypes about visiting the dentist as an unpleasant event. «Unfortunately, dentistry in the Baltic States still suffers from the seal inherited from the Soviet era. Faint wall colours, the specific smell and bad music all make a dentist appointment scary, unpleasant and give the impression that it is not stylish to visit the dentist in general. It results in many oral and dental health problems, so when planning LAVA dental studio, I wanted to create a feeling of a spa or a design hotel,» says Vladislavs. That is why he invited design professionals to take part in the development of the clinic: the interior was designed by the studio Open AD, but the brand identity — by the creative agency AD Riga.


The name of the clinic LAVA was formed from the initials of the owners and served as a starting point for the design. In developing the interior concept, Open AD drew inspiration from the way lava flows and transforms. «This natural phenomenon is also a metaphor for the patient’s experience: after visiting the clinic, the patient feels positively transformed and has regained well-being and health,» the designers point out.

The environment of the clinic should be functional, clean and sterile, however, this did not prevent the project authors Zane Tetere-Šulce, Beatrise Dzērve un Zane Arāja from choosing expressive colours and materials, provided that they are easy to care for. Most of the furniture, with the exception of medical equipment and a few Ikea tables, was designed and made to order. The interactive element above the reception desk includes moving projections, which not only provide a soothing effect, but also bring to life the visual identity of the clinic. The designers admit that creativity has also been encouraged by the budget, as the owners had to invest a large part of the available funds in medical equipment. Without spending a huge amount, the intended result has been achieved.


The graphic design was developed after the approval of the interior concept, and it also permeates the premises of the clinic. As the client’s wish was to be different from other dental clinics, the creators of the brand AD Riga thought of original solutions that do not include the usual symbols with teeth and smiles.


It was important for the designers to create a minimal and memorable symbolism that could be used equally easily for the clinic’s signboard, as well as for work clothes and the interior. The overall shape of the logo is reminiscent of a volcanic silhouette with a check mark for a job well done. The geometry of the logo echoes the values of the clinic — accuracy and modern technologies. The straight lines are contrasted by a stylised lava pattern included in the graphic identity. The forest and earth tones used in the identity, complemented by gold accents, create a feeling of luxury and peace.


LAVA dental studio has now been open for two months, and the head of the clinic Vladislavs Aleksejevs is satisfied with the achieved result: «The finely developed design together with the architecture of Ausekļa Street, the smell of the clinic and the music heard in it allow patients to get only positive emotions. We have managed to change the vision of what dentistry is and what it could be like.»


The design and the brand of LAVA dental studio was realised by architecture and design studio Open AD, metal artist Edgars Spridzāns, creative agency AD Riga and marketing agency New Black.