Pacific Dental Services

Irvine, California

Interior ‘boulevards’ connect staff within expansive single-story office complex

The new headquarters for Pacific Dental Services (PDS) connects an enormous on-site staff who are spread across 82,000 square feet of single-level office space. The design is based on an “urban village” that incorporates internal boulevards, parks and neighborhoods to optimize circulation, organization and communication.

PDS staff performs remote administrative tasks for more than 630 U.S. dental offices, with plans to add another 80 supported dentists’ practices each year. That aggressive growth plan, along with advanced technologies and evolved staffing requirements, compelled PDS to develop a new facility that would better accommodate immediate as well as future needs. Project goals prioritized comfort and flexibility.

The project lays forth a fresh direction for how the company works both internally and with clients. Progressive office concepts include benching systems, open offices, collaborative and social spaces, as well as distinct environmental graphics and branding strategies.

Employees’ well-being remained a driving factor to the design. Due to the large building footprint, much of the available floor area consisted of spaces located far from windows. Designers took advantage of the one-story structure to introduce skylights and Solatubes. These passive devices deliver abundant natural light to deep interiors. Additionally, vegetated “green walls” bring exterior landscaping to the vast interior.

The interior “boulevard” concept takes the form of 12-foot wide corridors with polished concrete floors. Lobby and conference halls feature linear wood ceilings that improve acoustics. Most other areas have ceilings exposed to structure; beams, ductwork, piping and conduit is painted white to fade into the background. This aesthetic combines the clinical nature of PDS with the dynamic environment necessary to carry out their corporate vision. The project received design awards from several organizations, including the local chapter of the AIA.

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