School of Dental Medicine Pre-Clinical Simulation Center

  • area / size 13,500 sqft
  • Completed 2018
  • Location Buffalo, New York,
  • Buell Kratzer Powell was tasked with the design of the School of Dental Medicine Pre-Clinical Simulation Center at the University at Buffalo located in Buffalo, New York.

    For first- and second-year School of Dental Medicine students at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York, multi-disciplinary learning is case-based with integrated curriculum. Although the school has a forward-thinking approach, its basement-level pre-clinical lab facilities in Squire Hall did not adequately accommodate advanced technology and the latest pedagogy.

    Architecture firm Buell Kratzer Powell (BKP) of Philadelphia, Pa., partnered with the school to study trends in dental education, conduct senior faculty workshops, and design renovations to support progressive teaching and learning methods. BKP spent several months researching trends in dental education and preferences of millennial and Z-generation students.

    The resulting redesign eschews traditional rows of lab benches in favor of a clustered workstation approach, where students can naturally assume collaborative roles. Integrated technology impacts the entire teaching and learning experience. The custom-designed workstations include digital dental teaching simulators that mimic patient response and monitors to provide clear video access of the instructor. Floating ceilings, highly reflective surfaces, white stone counters, and an abundance of light brighten the basement spaces. A backlit photo mural of downtown Buffalo printed on translucent glass fills an entire wall.

    The project was constructed in two phases to keep the simulation center fully operational while doubling its size. The number of workstations increased from 90 to 146. Phase II added 30 student stations plus a faculty conference room, small-group learning room, and a facility for computer-aided design and milling.

    The success of the first two phases of work earned BKP the task of renovating all of the dental clinics for the School of Dental Medicine. Programming/concept development is now underway.

    ArchitectBuell Kratzer Powell
    Photography: Jeffrey Totaro