Mobile dental unit wins national and international design awards

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Mobile dental unit wins national and international design awards

Montalba Architects reinvents the typical dental environment with an award-winning design for Studio Dental’s mobile dental unit. (Photo: Mitch Tobias)
Dental Tribune USA

Dental Tribune USA

Tue. 13 October 2015


LOS ANGELES, Calif., USA: The design by 
Montalba Architects for Studio Dental’s mobile unit has been honored with four awards for its innovative, technologically enhanced design. The project received honors from national, regional and local chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), including the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health (AAH), AIA California Council (AIACC) and AIA San Francisco (AIASF).

The project was also given a Green Good Design Award from the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies and The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design.

Offering convenient dentistry, Studio Dental travels to businesses around the tech sector, partnering with offices, such as Google and Dropbox. Montalba Architects’ goal was to seamlessly accommodate Studio Dental’s required program within a 26-foot-long, 230-square-foot trailer. By developing efficient solutions, the firm reinvented the typical dental environment, while thoughtfully considering the patients’ perspective.

“This project re-visions the concept of the mobile healthcare trailer with a design that could breathe new life into the typology,” noted the AIA/AAH Healthcare Design Award jury, which honored the project with its prestigious AIA National Healthcare Design Award in the Innovations in Planning and Design Research, Built and Unbuilt category. “This compact and compelling design brings healthcare to the people in a unique and engaging way.” Given that it houses a waiting area, hidden sterilization room, and two operatories, it is “extremely efficient, and the detailing is well-considered.”

To create the illusion of a spacious interior, many elements needed to serve dual functions. The sterilization room is hidden behind millwork panels that also wrap around to form the patient waiting bench, complete with an integrated tablet for patient forms and magazines. To create a relaxing environment, translucent sculpted skylights in the ceiling not only allow in natural light, but also support video monitors displaying calming images. Acoustic foam walls and ceiling were installed for maximum sound absorption, while a double-sided millwork panel houses equipment for operatories and conceals the sound system and HVAC unit.

The 2015 AIACC Awards program honored a broad range of innovative design from experimental steel structures to high-end retail boutiques, but selected only 21 winners from a pool of 200 entries. “This is the first dentist office where I’d actually want to stare at the ceiling,” noted a member of the AIACC jury, which awarded the project with an Honor Award in the Small Projects category. At this year’s AIASF Design Awards, the project won a Citation Award in the Architecture category.

The Green Good Design Awards honored 25 architecture and urban planning projects from 24 countries. The mobile dental unit was one of three projects specially noted for its “unparalleled humanistic value.” It was part of the “100% Sustainable” exhibition in Athens, Greece, which will travel to Chicago in the fall.

Montalba Architects, founded in 2004 in Santa Monica, Calif., by David Montalba, AIA, LEED AP, embraces a humanistic design approach, which offers clients solutions that are contextual, yet conceptual and visionary in their intent, effect and appeal.

(Source: Montalba Architects)


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