Studio Dental II
Architect: Montalba Architects
Owner: Studio Dental / Lowell Caulder & Dr. Sara Creighton
Location: San Francisco, CA
In San Francisco’s Tenderloin district, this modern office is a brick and mortar location for a dentist who previously served the surrounding community through a mobile office. Reflecting the client’s progressive practice, it plays an active role in the revitalization of one of the city’s more troubled neighborhoods.
Located on the ground floor of a historic building, the marriage of history and a sleek, modern aesthetic creates a transcendent environment that evokes a gallery. The design hinges on a conceptual lantern that from within the building’s dark core emanates luminosity and transparency. Achieved through a series of wall panels that both light the building shell and brighten the storefront and street, the lantern provides privacy while enlivening the community.
In lieu of a waiting room, a park-like bench runs the length of the interior while wood trellises separate the bench and procedure rooms without closing off the space. Distinct moments of material contrast are experienced in the rough shell walls, smoked mirror panels, and a stand of maple monoliths that offer storage and indicate the entry to each patient room.
The team carefully preserved many of the building’s original elements, including the storefront, where original glazing proportions were restored, and the original marble bulkheads. The interior mezzanine was repurposed for additional storage and staff offices. Overall, the project celebrates and energizes the Tenderloin’s existing urban fabric.