HKS design satellite clinic for VCU School of Dentistry
Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) has selected HKS Architects to design a new sustainable, satellite dental clinic in association with Thompson & Litton, Inc.
The 7,575 sq ft clinic building is designed to house 18 patient rooms with a separate housing facility made up of six, two-bedroom apartments located directly behind the clinic.
“The clinic’s design concept draws inspiration from the region’s rural setting, industrial fabric and undulating terrain,” said Fred Ortiz, senior designer with HKS Architects. “Elements include the intermittently present and conventionally framed wood-veneered structures with sloped metal roofs, the long and linear formal qualities of the prominently used prefabricated mobile homes and old stone walls with crenellated tops and beaded mortar joints which create edges, thresholds and changes in ground elevation.”
Proposed materials consist of exposed natural wood framing, low-profile roofs, slatted wood veneer, galvalume metal roofing and selective use of aluminum framed glazing. “The emphasis is placed on the project’s image from the main road to the north as well as the patient’s experience when approaching the clinic’s reception area leading to the open operatory room plan,” he continued.
LEED initiatives, combined with a fundamental understanding of the site’s access, topography and view sheds, inform the development of site, storm water design and heat island effect. A natural bio-swale running parallel to the clinic’s long axis will capture at-grade storm water runoff, as well as receive rain water captured by a low-maintenance green roof. The roof will provide seasonal colour and enhance the visual connection between building and landscape.
Dr. Ron Hunt, dean of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Dentistry said: “Educating dental students in a ‘live/work’ environment will provide a long-term clinical experience in an off-campus setting, while meeting the dental needs of patients in this highly underserved area.”
The project broke ground on August 10, 2009 with estimated completion in spring 2011.