The week-long second-year competition asked the students to propose a work of architecture as a prototypical example of a building design that could be placed in multiple rural communities as local outposts to support visiting dentists and hygienists. These dentists and hygienists volunteer to provide regular preventative dental health care and specialist referrals for residents who cannot afford the care. It was suggested that the students contemplate the form for its potential as an iconic, recognizable presence in the landscape and as a tangible, tectonic space engaging the members of the community physically. Below are the honorable mentions along with the winners:

First Place: Grace Hahn

“This prototype design for a dental care office can be placed in different underprivileged areas while focusing on the experience of the patient. Two modules, prefabricated and constructed from a kit of parts, are connected by a courtyard and glass walkway that provides an experience of inside and outside. This transition addresses the movement from a public space to the private space where the patient reclines in a dental chair, framed by a long window that extends into a skylight. The skylights are incorporated into the public waiting area as well giving a sense of wholeness to the two modules that are not equal, but similar. This functional, yet engaging, design provides a dignified space for the patient to be treated in comfort.”

Second Place: Seth Tucker

“Looking into the idea of a dental corridor, this project tells a narrative of efficiency and flow of patients through a space. With an emphasis on the interior spaces and the patient experience, a viewing port relating to the human position within the dentist chair is placed on the ceiling/roof plane. This not only creates a view/functionality, but also creates a relationship between the patient, and people outside the distinct structure. Windows are strategically placed within built-in cabinets to allow whatever site it sits on to breathe through the space.”

Third Place: Alonzo Colon

“This design proposes a modular concept where the scale is proportional to the function of the building for the various underserved members of the communities. The design is modular in the sense that it can be easily transported to serve a variety of communities and towns throughout the year. The site establishes a public-facing plaza further connecting the river and the people of Grundy, VA through gatherings and community spaces. Establishing a connection with impermanence, this site works to coexist with the building, or function as its own space without the building.”

Honorable Mentions, in no particular order:

Jack O’Connor:
“The SMILE Clinic is an attempt to create a meaningful public realm through monumental architectural gestures and forms that promote circulation and movement around the building--providing an area for interaction between citizens. The design intends to reconnect Grundy’s residents while promoting proper oral health care. A seemingly transparent entrance and lobby creates an open atmosphere that eases the nerves of patients who might feel trapped in traditional dental health care facilities.”

Zixuan Liu:
“As a dental clinic for the residents of Grundy, the project is located in the middle of an iconic location in the community and can be identified as a public space integrated into the local environment. The form of the building encourages users and observers to understand the geographical situation, while allowing patients to flow smoothly through the space and be held within its circular manner.”

Sakshi Pitre:
“Inspired by modular architecture, the design aims to explore how small-scale architecture can focus on adaptability & ease of construction. The profile of the building makes it distinctive in a rural setting and reduces the feeling of pressure from the surrounding environment which creates familiarity for the patient. The transition of height and variation in spaces creates opportunities for natural light while reducing the footprint of the building to the bare minimum. Modules can be added or subtracted according to a specific site or function. As the structure transitions from a public to private space, the design also explores the use of transparent and opaque materials, establishing a close connection between the exterior natural world and the interior space.”