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Client: The University of Adelaide

Location: Berri, SA

Completed: 2016



Paul Gillett

Melanie Ford

Sam Jeyaseelan

Daniella Jacobs

The Riverland Oral Health Centre is a 10-chair dental clinic with support spaces for administration, teaching spaces for students of the Dental School, and a central sterilisation room.


Grieve Gillett Architects has brought together our extensive experience in the design of dental clinics, office fitouts and teaching spaces, to provide a facility that not only ensures excellence in patient care and infection control, but creates a comfortable and inviting space for staff and their clients.


The design delivers a sense of openness, enhanced by natural light, high ceilings, and large circulation spaces. Colourful and textured interior finishes, as well as curves, minimise the “clinical” feel of the facility, while maintaining its clinical function. In addition, the building’s form and materiality reflects and gracefully connects with the surrounding residential neighbourhood.

The brick façade was designed to provide a transition between the concrete black finish of the main hospital buildings and the homes across the road. The design philosophy was to create a strong exterior layer for the building into which is carved a softer interior. The use of brick for this element, as opposed to concrete or panel type finishes, creates a solid finish imbued with character. The banded layers of brick reflect the geological striations of the nearby Murray River cliffs.


Scattered glazed bricks abstract and blur the visible face, allowing for changing reflections through the day, reminiscent of the Murray itself. Insertions of coloured glazed bricks provide a sense of fun and play, hinting at the colour within the building itself. The final outcome is an inviting and warm façade, giving the Centre a robust presence and a gracious integration with its setting.


The Riverland Oral Health Centre provides an identifiable base for the provision of oral health care in the Riverland region, demonstrating physically its relationship to general health on the hospital site, while maintaining a distinct importance in its own right.

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