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.

Additional information

Engineer - Structural:  Julia Y. Chen Design Inc.

Engineer - MEP:  ACIES Engineering

General Contractor:  Build Group

Lighting: Sean O'Connor Lighting

Fabricator - Millwork: Pacific Westline, Inc.


Candid Rogers, FAIA, Chair, Candid Rogers Architect, San Antonio, TX

Cornell Anderson, AIA, Fieldwork Design & Architecture, LLC, Portland, Oregon

Caitlin Daley, AIA, Buell Kratzer Powell, LTD, Philadelphia, PA

William T. Eberhard, AIA, Eberhard Architects LLC, Cleveland, OH

Peter MacKeith, Assoc. AIA, University of Arkansas, Fay Jones School of Architecture, Fayetteville, Arkansas

Image credits

Studio Dental II-06

Kevin Scott

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Kevin Scott

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Kevin Scott

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Kevin Scott

Studio Dental II-03

Kevin Scott