While many of us look back fondly on our school days, no one gets a warm and fuzzy feeling going to the dentist. But for the patients of doctors Steven A. Koos and Goran Kralj, owners of ORA® Dental Studio on South Michigan Avenue, the prospect of a little poking and prodding is less daunting thanks to an inviting atmosphere. Standard-issue seating has been replaced with streamlined pieces that look like they belong in a luxury automobile. In addition to following LEED and GGHC (Green Guide for Health Care) protocols, the facility has been fashioned throughout with an unusual attention to color, texture and material. It doesn’t smell like a dental office; it doesn’t look like a dental office, says Koos. Patients are anxious when they come to see us. So we wanted to create an environment that offered some sense of serenity.

To achieve that goal, Koos and Kralj turned to designer Paula Feigum. To create a sense of calm and serenity, she relates, I began with a very neutral envelope and from there layered textures with materials that are as interesting to the eye as to the touch. Those included one wall clad in Bali pebbles (a mesh-backed product from Ann Sacks) and another finished with composite panels from modularArts that create a wavelike relief effect. Feigum specified deeply grained Oberflex veneers for the cabinetry she designed and covered the floors with a woven vinyl product from Chilewich. In most areas, stylish sconces and pendants intended for residential use-sourced from Lightology – add to the welcoming ambiance. Handsome, buffet-like casegoods perched on polished metal legs in the exam rooms are a far cry from the clinical cabinets common in most medical suites.