Tufts Dental School Public Space Renovation

Boston, MA


Tufts School of Dental Medicine


Renovation and expansion of Dental School Lobby improving circulation through better stair access and the addition of a 5th elevator from Lobby to Floor 15.


The Tufts Dental School has a strong presence on the corner of Kneeland and Washington Streets. With a winding route into a tight outdated lobby, the entry sequence did not reflect the grandeur of the exterior. Elevator capacity was insufficient during peak hours, and there was no lobby level access to the stairwells.


Tuft’s University School of Dental Medicine (TUSDM) is known as a global leader in oral health as both a school and an active clinic. However, its current building design and lobby did not reflect the distinction of the school or the building that housed it. Given the opportunity to expand into an adjacent retail space, TUSDM partnered with PCA to enhance the lobby space in an effort to improve wayfinding and reduce crowding.

The expansion of the lobby creates a grand two-story foyer with open views and enhanced street presence. The enlarged lobby is designed to welcome patients and showcase TUSDM’s mission as global leaders in oral health. A new elevator and stairway access to the mezzanine reduce crowding, and wayfinding helps patients navigate quickly and easily. Additional graphics give the public a glimpse into the school’s mission, history, and current events. The double-height lobby is accented by a digital map indicating the hometowns of the school’s diverse international student body.

By relocating the entrance along Washington Street, PCA and TUSDM established a direct and welcoming arrival sequence. The new layout allows TUSDM to engage patients one-on-one with a personalized concierge style service. Comfortable seating gives patients an inviting and warm place to relax before and after clinic appointments. Newly created shell space in the mezzanine and first floor back-of-house gives the program room to grow and meet the next challenge.