UCSF Pediatric Operatories Renovation

  • area / size 897 sqft
  • Completed 2020
  • Kuth Ranieri Architects was tasked with updating the look and functionality of the UCSF Pediatric Operatories in San Francisco, California.

    The Division of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of California, San Francisco, offers affordable services to the children of the city’s low-income families. Kuth Ranieri Architects completed an interior renovation of the division’s Parnassus Campus teaching clinic to make a small, low-ceilinged 900-square-feet suite feel spacious and family-friendly while providing screening elements for privacy, upgrading equipment, and incorporating colorful imagery drawn from a classic children’s book.

    The existing clinic consisted of two suites, each containing four fully enclosed operatories. Kuth Ranieri Architects reconfigured the space as one suite of eight U-shaped operatories that open to the circulation path. The design team observed dental assistants closely as they worked with patients, then created a spatial diagram based on the treatment process. Careful analysis of storage requirements and range of motion studies enabled the new operatories to support efficient, ergonomically comfortable work within the tight space restrictions, allowing two of the operatories to be large enough to accommodate wheelchairs.

    To enable dental staff to explain treatment options to parents and children while satisfying the privacy requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, the design team placed partial-height partitions between each operatory that maintain the suite’s sense of spaciousness. The partitions have translucent acrylic panels that create a warm glow; the custom panels are angled to match the angle of the patient chairs. The partitions depict various scenes from a classic children’s book, This is San Francisco by Miroslav Šašek. Donated by the Šašek Foundation, custodians of the artwork, these images of familiar San Francisco icons serve as conversation starters to foster interaction between staff and patients. The patient chairs alternate red and blue, tying in with the colors of the vibrant murals.

    For a department with no dedicated entry or lobby, defining a sense of identity and place was essential to creating a kid-friendly atmosphere. The design team extended Šašek’s imagery into the corridors leading from the building lobby to the suite to set a tone of ease and delight for patients at the start of their visit.

    Because the clinic occupies the center of the building, adding windows wasn’t possible. Warm LED lighting provide a glowing ambience, with indirect lighting around the perimeter creating a sense of height.

    The flooring and translucent panels are both “red-list free” products: they are low-VOC, derived from plants, and do not contain chemicals on a list of worst-in-class building industry products known to harm the environment and human health.

    Architect: Kuth Ranieri Architects
    Photography: Bruce Damonte