Lafond Desjardins Dental Laboratory / ACDF Architecture
Text description provided by the architects. ACDF Architecture is proud to unveil the Lafond Desjardins dental laboratory in Laval, a new facility that demonstrates that despite being too often forgotten by architects, industrial buildings offer great opportunities to create sensitive and refined architecture. The client sought to create a space perfectly tailored to its needs, with a level of sophistication capable of reflecting the company’s longstanding vitality and its vision of marrying artisanal work and advanced technology.
Luminous understatement in an industrial setting. ACDF proposed a relatively minimalist architectural concept inspired by the different manufacturing methods used by the dental laboratory. ACDF designed the project from a series of volumetric extractions applied to an opaque volume covered with dark and textured bricks. Intended to provide the perfect dose of fenestration for the various programmatic functions of the laboratory as well as outdoor terraces for the employees, the volumetric extractions generated a powerful visual contrast between the textured black brick envelope and the smoother and whitish aspect of the glass sections. The fine balance between opacity and transparency, dark and white, allows the creation of an aesthetically interesting industrial building that contributes to the architectural landscape of the district.
The Lafond Desjardins dental laboratory has a prominent location on Industriel Blvd., a major artery in Laval’s main industrial district. ACDF designed the building to be a beacon, shining in the distance. At night, the white screen-printed glass glows thanks to a backlight effect created by lights inside, and by day sunlight shining on the windows creates an overexposure effect. Highly textured, antique-finish black bricks cover the rest of the building to give it a contemporary look full of contrasts – an ACDF signature.
A volumetry that reflects the programmatic needs of interior spaces. All volumetric subtractions have their specific purpose, whether to meet different programmatic requirements or to provide optimal natural lighting based on carefully studied solar trajectories.
A double-height foyer, terraces upstairs accessed from common spaces and administrative offices, and floor-to-ceiling windows strategically positioned based on the architectural program: the contrasting shapes and tones resulting from this volumetric work attract the gaze of passers-by without being overbearing.
Although mainly used by employees, the new building also occasionally welcomes patients who come to verify the color of their future crowns. As a showcase for the company, the foyer is a very important space that requires ample light. The sense of vastness created by its double height, the abundance of natural light from the upstairs garden – filtered through metal-chain screens – and the pure white walls and polished-concrete floor contrast sharply with the exterior. A minimalist space overall, the double-height foyer includes a reception desk, a waiting area for visitors, and a naturally lit kiosk for patients who have come for color tests for their crowns and dental prostheses. The curved pale wood furniture of the reception area facilitates fluid traffic.
Well-being and functionality. A staircase backing onto the outer wall of the fabrication workshop leads upstairs to the employee lounge and kitchen, which lead to two terraces. The common area is equipped with white countertops and kitchen cabinets as well as a large island providing an additional work surface and lunch counter. Across from the island, ACDF created a dining room with tables and chairs in pale wood resembling the paneling in the alcove, which features a built-in black banquette. In keeping with the space’s industrial character, the ventilation ducts, mechanical equipment, and roof structure are all exposed and painted white. The large space is also suitable for hosting occasional events during which clients can meet the team and receive training in new fabrication techniques.
The workshop is located on the ground floor and includes numerous elements specific to the different techniques used in making dental products developed by Lafond Desjardins. Each work area was carefully positioned to provide a functional, acoustically appropriate environment for the noise made during ceramic fabrication and polishing and to prevent dust from reaching common areas. In order to provide natural light for the workers, most zones feature exterior-facing windows. The rooms are designed for the staff’s well-being and are equipped with functional workstations that foster productivity.
The new building, black on the outside and brilliant white inside, is the result of an approach sensitive to its industrial setting, which now features a sophisticated dental laboratory and productive workspace. The concept juxtaposes raw, dark qualities with refined and brilliant ones, symbolizing the present and future transformation of industrial districts.