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UNLV Libraries Main Page -> Architecture Studies Library -> Las Vegas Guides and Collections -> Las Vegas Architects and Buildings Database -> Projects

UNLV School of Dental Medicine

Photos & Links: (Web Page 1)
Location:
1700 W. Charleston Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV
Type(s):
Subtype(s):
Constructed: 2006
Size (sq. ft.): 44000
Firm(s):
Contractors: Sletten Construction (General Contractor)
Helix Electric Inc. (Electrical Sub-Contractor)
Civil Engineer: Martin & Martin
Electrical Engineer: TJK Consulting Engineers
Structural Engineer: Mendenhall Smith
Architectural Elements: Sustainability was an inherent program element as it relates to teaching future professionals about oral health. The project was not registered as a LEED building at the owner’s request but was nonetheless designed using many aspects of high quality sustainable design from the public access and landscaping to the controlled daylighting and energy managements systems.
Description: The Advanced Dental Education Building concept was to integrate site sensitive environmental practices seamlessly with the client’s program for the School of Advanced Dental Education, which is to offer its advanced dental students, “a broad spectrum of didactic, clinical, research, and teaching experience in the field of orthodontic medicine.” A healthy set of teeth is usually an indicator of a healthy lifestyle and the many benefits of green building were a logical match.

The building is a strong counterpoint to the substantial, shadow like presence of the adjacent existing School of Dental Medicine. A rhythmic assemblage of sun shading devices on the south, east, and west elevations connote the brilliant symmetry of healthy, smiling teeth. The primary purpose for the shading devices is to mitigate the solar heat gain and glare throughout the day while providing a constantly changing visual effect through the play of shadows on the façade; the repetitive structures vaguely evoking the ‘corrective appliances’ used by orthodontics to remedy malocclusions, or crooked teeth.

The materials were chosen to offer a nod to the Cor-ten steel cladding of the existing adjacent building while distinguishing its ‘advanced’ nature with more innovative and climatically responsive forms. Modular ‘thin shell’ concrete wall panels were used to reduce material and design cost and also to reinforce the rhythmic design of the windows and shading devices. Concrete has been utilized as a malleable and sculptural design material in both cast in place elements and the further strengthening the play of shadow and light on the façade.

An important gateway to the UNLV Shadow Lane campus from Charleston Boulevard, the entrance to the Advanced Dental Building was located axially between the bus stop and the existing building entrance and visually reinforced via a cantilevered steel canopy linking the new and old buildings. The patient pick-up area at the entry plaza and the pedestrian link to the public transit stop are important elements to the design since the primary focus of the orthodontic program, is to provide affordable care for uninsured and underserved population who could otherwise not afford such extensive treatment. Pediatrics is also a major focus of the program and a special area with playful colors and thematic ceiling treatments was designed to make the dental experience a bit less traumatic.

The design of the spaces around the building aimed to retain as much of the original mature landscaping as possible/ The new building was sited in close proximity to the existing Dental Teaching Facility in order to invigorate the space between the buildings and creating a sheltered outdoor arcade that students and staff from both buildings could enjoy.
Extra Note: AIA Nevada Design Awards (2007) Entry No. B07011, Submission.
UNLV Architecture Studies Library holds: Form Core Boards, Project Identification Form, Photo Release Form, Intern Compensation Disclaimer Form, Project Entry Form, Exteriors Photos, Site Plan, Floor Plans, Interior Photos and CD

“Carpenter Sellers Architects: Medical.” Carpenter Sellers Architects. 2003. [Online]. Available: http://www.csaarchitects.com/2003/images/projects/medical/UNLV%20Dental/UNLVD%20-1.html Accessed June 8, 2005.

Illia, Tony. “Affordable New Home Prices Nearing Limit.” Las Vegas Business Press, 5 July 2004, 9.

"Nevada News - February 2008." Southwest Contractor. February 2008. [Online]. Available: http://southwest.construction.com/news/NV/archive/0802.asp. Accessed July 18, 2008.
Spatially Direct Parent: University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Spatially Largest Parent: University of Nevada, Las Vegas