Changing the Atmosphere of Dentistry | Behind the Architecture of Meza Dental Care Cancún

Waiting room of Meza Dental Care clinic in Cancún

Since the founding of Meza Dental Care, the intention has been to do dentistry differently, in a way that was more human, more welcoming, more accessible to the common person, and ultimately more enjoyable. 

It’s a vision that permeates every aspect of the Meza Dental experience, from the moment you first pick up the phone to when you set down your things after a life-changing travel experience, and a massive part of bringing that vision is the place where all of the magic happens — the Meza Dental offices. 

With the recent grand opening of Meza Dental Cancún, we sat down with the project’s lead architect Haik Muñoz from MFA Arquitectos to discuss how he and his team brought this beautiful new office to life!

An Introduction to Haik and MFA Arquitectos

Arquitectos MFA is a Mexican-based firm that specializes in the design of commercial spaces, ranging from highly functional amenity areas like gas stations and convenience stores, as well as more social commercial spaces like restaurants, office buildings, and retail shops. 

As lead architect Haik Muñoz explains, the exciting part of each project has been creating a unique visitor experience each time. The intersection of being welcoming and vibrant, but also a place of business takes a delicate touch.

But Haik and his team are up to the challenge, and use a combination of natural materials, a modern influence with striking lines and geometry, and thoughtful lighting design to create spaces that are full of energy and life, and offer a refreshing and new take on familiar concepts.

The Lead Architect Haik Muñoz

Leading the way on MFA’s projects, including the recently-opened Meza Dental office, is lead architect Haik Muñoz. Haik actually lived in Costa Rica while growing up, where he was a long-time friend of Marcelo Meza before setting off to university in México to learn the trade of an architect. 

And after years of training, Haik settled in Mexico to help build MFA into the architectural firm that it is today, and now, years later, when it came time for the Meza team to consider partners to design their new office, Haik was an obvious choice. 

Combined with his skill, experience, and excellent artistic touch, Haik’s familiarity with the Meza family, their values, and their vision for dentistry helped bring this beautiful new office to life. 

The Meza Dental Vision

As Haik explains, sometimes with a client the design process is straightforward. The purpose, dimensions, and functions of the space are laid out — clients may even come with references they’d like to base their space on — and then the design team brings the project to life. 

But sometimes, the process involves a bit more creativity and care. Both the Meza team and MFA wanted to do something a little bit different with their Cancún office, and make a statement about what a dentist’s office can be that aligns with the Meza Dental vision for care.

When you think of the typical dentist’s office from popular culture, it often ranges from sterile, dim, and drearily lit entirely in blue light to outright scary (cue thunder and evil laughter). And while modern dentists are working to change that perception, old habits of design for dentists’ offices still hamper a dental office from being truly welcoming. 

MFA and the Meza team wanted to flip that script, and create a space that was welcoming even from the outside, invited curiosity, and made people happy to sit down and stay a while, rather than anxious to leave. 

The Challenges to Consider

It wasn’t necessarily going to be easy. Creating a fun and welcoming space that also felt utterly professional, sterile, and safe is no small task. There is a certain trust that comes from the formality and atmosphere of a typical dentist’s office, and there were other considerations as well. 

Within the comparatively small footprint of the office you also had to have space for equipment, lab work, a back office, and storage — all keys for a dental team to work smoothly — without clients feeling cluttered, cramped, or uncomfortable. 

The breathtaking views from the treatment areas out over lush greens towards the beach are another factor requiring a delicate touch. Getting to enjoy the beauty of your surroundings throughout your trip — even while in the dentist’s chair — is a big part of why Meza has chosen such beautiful locations for its offices, but expansive windows and views can come at the cost of reduced privacy. After all, very few people want an audience of strangers while getting their teeth work done!

But for each of these questions, MFA had an answer, and the result is a beautiful home for Meza Dental in the years to come!

The Key Elements of the Design

Three key elements of design stand out in the architecture of Meza Dental Cancún: light design, the use of materials, and the subtle-yet effective partitioning of spaces. 

Even before you walk in the door, the waiting area beckons with an abundance of natural light, which is supported and enhanced by the use of light woods, a bright wall color, and plant life that complements the classic Meza Dental green as an accent. 

This creates an atmosphere that is naturally inviting but is actually the result of careful consideration of light and the materials involved. It’s an involved process to track down stray shadows, balance tones and shades, and make an interior space feel like a beautiful indoor-outdoor lounge, but MFA Arquitectos did so superbly. 

From the moment you first glance the office down the hall, your eyes are naturally drawn towards the natural glow that fills the reception area, like a clearing in a forest. But the journey continues as you arrive, with the lighting instinctively drawing you through the office towards the patient areas, which open up to expansive views across the rolling greens of a local golf course towards the ocean. 

What the average person doesn’t even notice are the lab, backroom, and storage areas along the way, since your eyes are drawn towards the light at the end of the hallway, almost like the lights guiding an airplane into landing. However, these spaces are there, and just as beautifully done in softer tones so that they’re as enjoyable a place to work as it is to visit. 

This emphasis on brightness and light creates a vastly improved customer experience but definitely takes care. Bright light and colors require extra effort to be kept clean, which is why places like bars, restaurants, and the like often choose a darker ambiance. 

After all, when every spot, speck, and scrap of paper sticks out clearly, it takes discipline and a concerted effort to make sure that the Meza space itself is as flawless as the work that takes place inside. 

But that’s a challenge the team is ready to take, and the benefits — an office that feels fresh, lively, and undeniably aligned with the Meza Dental identity — far outweigh the costs. 

Final Thoughts From Haik

As we wound down our interview with Haik, his final thoughts on the space were filled with pride and confidence. 

“Working with a team like Meza Dental to create their office is really exciting, because you get a chance to help build that identity, and bring it to life in a new space. And it’s been fun! We got to try new things, experiment with gorgeous materials, and fine-tune the use of light, and the result is amazing.

When you talk to Meza and their team, they’re really passionate about changing dentistry. They want to make it welcoming, affordable, and accessible, without compromising beauty and quality, and we did our best to do the same in their office. Can’t wait to see people visiting their new location and getting to enjoy it!”

If you’d like to learn more about the launch of this new office, you can read our article on the topic here

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