Brooks Dental Studio

Tacoma, Washington

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At roughly 24’ wide x 116’ deep x 14’ high this ground-floor space in a former downtown garage featured a heavy timber ceiling, and a rustic concrete party-wall that had been plastered over. Natural light was available only from the narrow street frontage. The streetfront window location was desirable in attracting and welcoming patients to the newly established practice.


Because this new dental practice is located in a growing, artistic, and urban setting, the client wanted to create a relaxed atmosphere unlike a traditional dental office. The plan had to accommodate two operatories in the first phase, with up to five as the practice grows. In the interim, the additional space are to be used as art exhibition lounges. As part of the marketing strategy, the office design was to offer an aesthetic first impression to pedestrians, with gallery spaces to engage the community.


The plan is arranged in three zones: public waiting & reception in front, treatment in the middle, and staff & utilities in the back. The use of partial height walls and translucent panels & door between the front and back office enhances the patient perception of a single cohesive space and allows some daylight to penetrate into the treatment space. A steel frame was installed above the operatories, reducing the apparent ceiling height and providing support for the required systems, as well as a TV for patient entertainment. Each operatory also includes a fresh flower placed in a custom wall-mounted bud vase.

Awards & Publications

  • Merit Award – AIA Southwest Washington 2009 Design Awards
  • Project of the Month – AIA Seattle/Daily Journal of Commerce, August 2011
  • “Dentist, Architect Artfully Transform an Old Garage”, Daily Journal of Commerce, 10 August 2011
  • Seattle Tour of Architects, 2012
  • “New Dental Clinic Design” by Alpha Books (Japan), 2017