Georgia's only dental school gets new home providing family-centric care environment
The College of Dental Medicine at Georgia Health Sciences University was designed by Lord, Aeck & Sargent in collaboration with Francis Cauffman as consulting dental architect. The five-storey, 269,000 sq ft building features a host of sustainable design elements and is targeting LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
The natural light-filled building, whose dominant exterior design element is a gentle curve that spans the length of building's 1.68-acre footprint, was developed in response to input from a Patient and Family Centered Care committee. The new CDM building is the first structure to be completed on a GHSU 25-acre site that adjoins the existing campus. As such, the design was intended to set the tone for the site's future medical, dental and associated research buildings.
It is a catalyst for the new site and speaks about modern healthcare. It also responds to the existing campus context through the use of a warm red brick characteristic of the university's historic buildings mixed with areas of dark gray iron spot brick as a counterpoint.
To emphasise that this is a thoroughly modern healthcare environment with the latest dental technologies, extensive areas of glazing were added - in some areas up to five storeys in height - along with sculpted metal canopies at three entrances and crisply detailed metal plates slicing into the brick around each punched window.
The defining exterior design element on the patient entry side is the gentle, welcoming, embracing curve that responds to the patient and administration feedback received. The generous amount of glazing brings natural light to nearly every area of the building, including the 316 operatories (dental treatment stations), the practice and simulation labs, all the faculty offices, the faculty, staff and student lounges and of course, the main lobby.