‘A design studio with an aim to do something different… something inspiring & eye-catching’, is the ideology retained behind the creation of Masquespacio. Founded by Ana Milena Hernández Palacios and Christophe Penasse in 2010, the award-winning creative design studio was the answer to the founders’ wish to develop their design practice into something more meaningful that would not only make them proud but also transmit their aim to desire innovation & inspiration out of each project. With exemplary projects like the ‘Doctor Manzana’ Stores and the restaurant ‘Living Bakkali’, the Spanish-based design consultancy firm have aced projects within their native country and worldwide. Known for creating modern spaces with a creative and playful touch through the masterful use of color and simple geometries, the firm has gained international recognition for its contribution.

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Founders of Masquespacio (Ana & Chris) ©https://masquespacio.com/about-us

One such profound work out of their countless number of projects is the ‘Somriures’, a dental clinic based in Valencia, Spain. Though Masquespacio focuses more on projects related to the hospitality and retail sector, they ventured out of the realms of their expertise, in this case, a quaint dental clinic, to challenge their caliber through an unusual design project. Situated in a small town about 30 km away from Valencia called L’Alcudia, the owners of the dental clinic Alberto and Maite had closely followed the work of Masquespacio through social media and decided to get their 1292 square foot clinic renovated by the Valencia-based design firm with a short timeline and a limited budget.

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Somriures by Masquespacio (Exterior Facade) ©Luis Beltran https://masquespacio.com/projects/somriures#

Project Details

With a built-up area of 120 m2, Masquespacio was in charge of the interior renovation project of the clinic ‘Somriures’ that was initiated in the year 2017. For the renovation of the clinic (located in Avinguda d’Antoni Almela, 4, 46250, L’Alcudia, Valencia, Spain), the main contractor assigned by Masquespacio was ‘Grupo Invalcor’ whereas the contractors assigned for the work pertaining to the sculpture of wooden strips & signage were ‘Tableros Bermejo’ and ‘La Icreativa’ respectively along with ‘Montó’ responsible for the cement flooring and painting.

Design

Keeping the clinic’s specialty – ‘creation of beautiful smiles’ in mind, the design of the Somriures is highlighted through an attempt at recreating a smile with the help of a 39-foot-long structure with 2,884 wooden strips hanging from the ceiling, overwhelming few of the main walls of the clinic & making it a perfect guide to take the customers from one point to another. The design redefines the redundant blue associated with the medical field into a more fresh and relishing design giving the place more of a quirky feel rather than a clinical one.

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Somriures by Masquespacio (Interior) _©Luis Beltran https://masquespacio.com/projects
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Somriures by Masquespacio (Interior) _©Luis Beltran https://masquespacio.com/projects

Being an unusual project, it required a lot of careful detailing to forecast a serious and sophisticated design through minimum use of materials. To achieve the set design objectives and implement the vision of the project, the founders of Masquespacio decided to center the design of Somriures based on 3 different elements i.e., a sculpture recreating a smile, combining the color turquoise green with white walls and ceilings to retain the clinic’s clean image, and usage of furniture having organic forms. A mix of turquoise green and white provides the space with a smooth feeling with hints of gold, brown leather, and dark shades of blue which gives the interior a stark & sophisticated contrast with respect to the color combinations of the walls. The concept behind the form of the custom-made organic furniture pieces was to cast the image of a beautiful smile. 

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Somriures by Masquespacio (Corridor) ©Luis Beltran https://masquespacio.com/projects/somriures#:~:text=Being%20the%20specialty%20of%20Somriures,aim%20to%20recreate%20a%20smile.

Materials/Construction

The redesigning of Somriures was challenging due to the typology and the requirement to evoke a more restrained approach that reimagined the design studio’s signature playful aesthetic. Leaving the professional atmosphere of a medical clinic uninterrupted was achieved by using a minimal material palette and carefully precise use of decoration was adopted. The singular wood artwork installation magnifies the architectural appeal of the interior without appearing too ornamental, supplementing the overall aesthetically simple & welcoming design rather than a grandeur feel.

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The wood artwork installation (Corridor)_ © Luis Beltran https://masquespacio.com/projects/somriures#:~:text=Being%20the%20specialty%20of%20Somriures,aim%20to%20recreate%20a%20smile

The furnishing pieces in the waiting room of the clinic add a certain architectural gravitas with the help of clean lines complemented by brown leather with detailed metallic gold work to the simple concoction of hues and textures to again remind us of the nature and form of the smile itself. On one hand, the rich combination of the color turquoise green with pearl-like white creates a feeling of the softness of a tender smile and on the other hand, the bespoke furniture pieces of organic forms containing hints of gold, brown and dark blue give birth to a stark yet refined contrast.

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Somriures by Masquespacio (Organic Form Furniture)_ ©Luis Beltran https://masquespacio.com/projects/somriures#:~:text=Being%20the%20specialty%20of%20Somriures,aim%20to%20recreate%20a%20smile.
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Somriures by Masquespacio (Facade Detail)_©https://www.archdaily.com/890838/somriures-masquespacio
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Somriures by Masquespacio (Floor Plan)_ ©https://www.archdaily.com/890838/somriures-masquespacio

Playfully experimenting with the 3 elements of the design, the ‘Somriures’ was an interesting experience for the design firm. Rather than focusing on incorporating tiny details into the interiors, the project took a more minimalistic approach to the overall design i.e., a minimum of material & detailing. Complimented by the usage of their characteristic laconic geometric shapes, the addition of greenery on the curved shelves not only adds a natural touch but also brings life and color to the design of the space – A dental clinic inspired by a beautiful smile.

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Somriures by Masquespacio (Interior) © Luis Beltran https://masquespacio.com/projects/somriures#:~:text=Being%20the%20specialty%20of%20Somriures,aim%20to%20recreate%20a%20smile.

Reference List

  • Masquespacio (2022). About Us – Masquespacio [online]. Available at: https://masquespacio.com/about-us [Accessed 25 October 2022]
  • Masquespacio (2021). Somriures – Masquespacio [online]. Available at: https://masquespacio.com/projects/somriures#:~:text=Being%20the%20specialty%20of%20Somriures,aim%20to%20recreate%20a%20smile.  [Accessed 25 October 2022]
  • Frame Publishers B.V. (2018). FRAME | Smile-inspired lines guide patients through the Somriures dental clinic by Masquespacio [online]. Available at: https://www.frameweb.com/article/institutions/smile-inspired-lines-guide-patients-through-the-somriures-dental-clinic-by-masquespacio  [Accessed 26 October 2022]
  • ArchDaily (2018). Somriures / Masquespacio | ArchDaily [online]. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/890838/somriures-masquespacio  [Accessed 26 October 2022]
  • Archtonic.com (2018). Somriures by Masquespacio | Doctors’ surgeries [online]. Available at: https://www.architonic.com/en/project/masquespacio-somriures/5105788 [Accessed 26 October 2022]
  • Estatemag.io (2020). Somriures / Masquespacio — eState [online]. Available at: https://estatemag.io/projects/somriures-masquespacio-2/  [Accessed 27 October 2022]
  • Divisare (2018). Masquespacio, Luis Beltran · Somriures · Divisare [online]. Available at: https://divisare.com/projects/379842-masquespacio-luis-beltran-somriures [Accessed 27 October 2022]
  • Healthcare Design Magazine – Emerald X, LLC. (2018). PHOTO TOUR: Somriures Dental Clinic – HCD Magazine [online]. Available at: https://healthcaredesignmagazine.com/projects/specialty-projects/photo-tour-somriures-dental-clinic/?hilite=%27somriures%27%2C%27masquespacio%27 [Accessed 28 October 2022]
  • Contemporist.com (2018). This Dental Clinic Interior Design Features a Sculpture Made From 2884 Wood Strips [online]. Available at: https://www.contemporist.com/interior-sculpture-made-from-2884-wood-strips/  [Accessed 29 October 2022]
Author

A dedicated spatial planner enthusiast by day and a wishful writer by night. He has a keen interest in the field of environmentally sustainable architecture and integration of sustainable transportation as an approach towards climate-responsive planning of cities. He enjoys watching Sci-fi documentaries/films and pondering over complicated concepts of life as well as the occasional sitcoms from time to time.

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