The architectural design for the new 15,000 square-foot Center for Precision Dental Medicine, by the distinguished firm of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners with Jeffrey Berman, involved an inventive reinterpretation of the spaces within the original 1928 building by James Gamble Rogers.
The architects have created an open, loft-like space with low partitions, providing unobstructed views and plenty of natural light which is consistent throughout the floor. Raised floors and vaulted ceilings integrate the indirect lighting and air distribution.
All clinical support services are consolidated into a central core. The architects designed the floor with optimal patient and student experiences in mind. The two identical wings of the Vanderbilt Clinic’s fifth floor have two practice areas, which have a total of 48 operatories. Each wing is supported by its own reception area, waiting room, patient affairs office, clinical director’s office, and imaging rooms.
Each practice is organized into three neighborhoods of eight dental chairs apiece, individual faculty touchdown zones and digital fabrication workstations. Curvilinear partitions with translucent screening provide patient privacy while creating interactive aisles for circulation.
By providing spaces where pre-clinical and clinical training are combined, the Center for Precision Dental Medicine gives students experience working in the very operatories they will one day practice in, smoothing the transition to patient care.
For patients, the facility offers an attractive and inviting environment tailored to a patient’s needs and comfort. Glass partitions offer privacy without blocking natural light. The entire operatory is designed to encourage better patient-clinician interaction; a computer monitor in the arm of the chair is positioned so providers never have to turn their backs to the patient. The vaulted ceilings with indirect light were designed with great care as the architects kept the reclined dental patient in mind.
The College of Dental Medicine, which sees approximately 130,000 visits per year from 30,000 patients, sees the new space as an investment in the Upper Manhattan community we serve.