Creating a friendly practice
Having met more than 30 years ago at University, Homayoun Halavat-Kar and Farahbod Nakhaei have joined forces again to create a brand new dental practice in Glasgow’s west end.
Homayoun qualified as a bacteriologist from Strathclyde in 1985, the same year Farahbod finished his architecture degree and the two men have stayed in touch ever since. After completing his PhD in Birmingham in 1990, Homayoun carried out a three-year post-doctoral research post with the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.
However, after becoming disillusioned with a role that involved a large element of animal experimentation, Homayoun returned to Glasgow to study dentistry, qualifying in 1998. He completed his VT in Kettering, staying there for eight years as an associate, before moving to a practice in Oundle, Cambridgeshire.
Three years ago, he had a brief spell at a practice in Wishaw with the aim of finding a potential practice to start out on his own. However, the appointment didn’t work out and he headed back down south after a few months.
But, despite this setback, the drive to own and run his own practice was strong and he was keen to move back to the Glasgow area. It was a friend who spotted the site of what was to become Anniesland Essential Dental Care and Homayoun quickly contacted his old friend Farahbod, who in the intervening years had set up NV Design and Construction (NVDC), to have a look at the new development.
The building was a new-build flatted development with retail units for let on the ground floor. Farahbod and his team were enlisted to report back on whether it would be suitable for converting into a dental practice. As he was still in full-time practice in England, Homayoun signed the lease sight unseen – with help from his cousin’s firm Katani and Co Solicitors – on two neighbouring retail units eight months ago and NVDC were contracted to design and fit out the practice.
After a stop-start first phase, while change-of-use paperwork and finances were finalised, work began in earnest in February. Farahbod explained that the first challenge was to figure out the most effective way of knocking through the two spaces and combining the units. As a result, one side of the divide houses the clinical areas – the three surgeries, the LDU, as well as the disabled toilet. The other side houses reception, waiting room, staff areas and ancillary spaces.
The second challenge was raising the floor of the surgeries to accommodate all the services required to serve a dental chair. As the shop units had a solid concrete floor, there was no way to run suction and drainage from the base of the chair without raising the floor by a few inches.
Once the layout and the main building work was completed, the fit out began and NVDC’s flair for design started to come to the fore. As Farahbod explained: “Dr Kar was looking to create a very clean, professional-looking space with an element of colour to reflect his caring personality, as well as a bit of fun. Most of the walls were painted white but we used a nice lime colour to bring an element of freshness and to impact on the space, so it didn’t look overly clinical. It created a bit of warmth and the colour acts as a guiding device for the patients.”
The lime green colour is featured in the reception desk and then on the wall that leads to the hallway down which the clinical areas are situated, creating a “visual clue’ to how the flow of the practice works.
The surgery that was fitted up against the shop front meant that a solution to protect the privacy of patients while maintaining as much natural light as possible needed to be found. This was done with dense films on the shop front as well as black films along the lower half of the window to incorporate the practice logo.
The practice opened in early April and Homayoun is delighted with the end result. He said: “The final product is fantastic. So many patients have made comments and they speak very highly of the work that has been done.
“It has certainly exceeded my expectations, and I am absolutely delighted.”