Studio Dental unveils a 230-square-foot mobile unit

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Studio Dental unveils a 230-square-foot mobile unit

A patient is treated in Studio Dental’s new mobile dental unit, designed by Montalba Architects. (Photo: Mitch Tobias)
Dental Tribune USA

Dental Tribune USA

Thu. 11 June 2015


SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., USA: Dr. Sara Creighton and Lowell Caulder, co-founders of Studio Dental, hired Los Angeles-based Montalba Architects to design a 26-foot-long mobile dental unit to travel to businesses to offer convenient dentistry. Working with only 230 interior square feet, the architects created a visually spacious interior while creatively packing Studio Dental’s required program, including a sterilization room, waiting area and two operatories.

The material palette reinforces Studio Dental’s brand identity with natural wood millwork, bright-white surfaces and a custom perforation pattern. These design elements offer a simplified atmosphere to help patients relax.

Creating this atypical dental environment required ingenious and efficient design solutions. The sterilization room is hidden behind millwork panels that wrap around to form the patient waiting bench with an integrated tablet for patient forms and magazines. A centralized, double-sided millwork panel houses equipment for both operatories and also conceals the sound system and HVAC unit.

Each 8-foot-9-inch by 4-foot-10-inch operatory gestures to the sky, with 11-foot-plus ceilings and translucent sculpted skylights above the patient chairs. Rather than opening the side panels to potentially unattractive exterior environments like urban parking lots, skylights were installed to capture diffused natural light and house TV monitors for patients to watch during their procedures.

To deliver a serene environment, the architects installed acoustic foam walls and ceiling for maximum sound absorption, but utilized a perforated finish to create a stylish appearance. Layered acoustical dampening material in the interior offers a more relaxed patient experience. The centralized millwork panel visually separates patients from one another inside operatories to ensure privacy. Strategically placed mirrored strips in the corners of the operatories alludes to the feeling of openness and further reflects natural light.

This is the second collaboration between Montalba Architects and Studio Dental. In 2010, the architects designed Dr. Creighton’s first office, Washington Square Park Dental in San Francisco. After leaving to open Studio Dental, Creighton sought out Montalba Architects to design San Francisco’s first mobile dental office delivering dental services within an inspiring space.

Studio Dental works with technology companies such as Google and Dropbox to bring dental services to their offices. The mobile environment is completely paper-free and all business transactions are handled online. Patients schedule appointments and pay online with a credit card. Before their appointment, patients receive a text reminder, and after, receive an email with detailed benefits and expenses.

(Source: Montalba Architects)


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