University of the Pacific


Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry

San Francisco, California

289,000 GSF / 26,849 M² (Renovation); 395,000 GSF / 36697 M² (Total)

Architecture, Engineering, Interior Architecture, Lab Planning

Sustainable Programs
LEED for Core & Shell (CS) LEED-CS-Gold

“SmithGroupJJR has been an excellent partner in our new facilities project. The team has worked very well with our students, faculty, staff, and other internal stakeholders on a very complex project. It has been a great team effort and SmithGroupJJR is playing a very important role as the lead architect of our exciting new San Francisco campus.”

—Dr. Patrick Ferrillo, Jr., Dean, University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry


The Dugoni School of Dentistry is a single building “campus” that houses a dentistry program of 485 students and offers multiple professional programs. Consistently top ranked nationwide, the school has designed an award-winning curriculum that is focused on an active, immersive, vertically-integrated pedagogy in small clinical environments. The project involved a total re-adaptation of the building’s interior (previously used for data center purposes) into a hands-on, state-of-the-art learning environment for the dental school. Space for other University programs and additional tenants was also included. This major interior renovation was coupled with a complete renovation of the building cladding.

Within the building there are many different types of spaces that facilitate the learning process for students, including clinics, research labs, classrooms, informal collaboration space and lounges. The new campus embraces a cultural shift toward complete collaboration, disintegrating the boundaries between faculty, students, and staff. As part of that shift, faculty are moving to an open office environment not typically seen in facilities for higher education, allowing for a more efficient use of floorplate space and increasing collaboration among academic staff.

The most notable aspect of this project’s adaptive reuse story was the need to incorporate highly sensitive laboratory, clinical and simulation environments into what was once a typical office building.  The simulation lab, where students begin to work on dental mannequins, mimics the design of an actual clinical practice. Rather than arrange simulation units in a linear configuration, as is current practice, the school’s curriculum demanded something different. Students are organized into eighteen-member clinics, with a central space for teaching, gathering, and special projects. At each individual station, students have utilities located behind the head of the simulator “patient,” a configuration that mirrors a typical clinic—unique to dental education.

The school operates outpatient clinics where more than 100,000 patient visits annually. There, students learn in clinics of 18—the same size as in the simulation lab—to mirror private dental practice. Adjacent to each clinic are small huddle rooms — classrooms where students can meet with faculty members within the clinic itself. This design feature positions learning space directly adjacent to clinical practice areas, another aspect of Dugoni’s immersive curriculum represented in the building’s design.


Related Content

Dugoni Excellence Day
Dental students, faculty, staff and patients gathered to showcase achievements in the areas of dental practice, research and community service.

University of the Pacific Dugoni is on the Move
University of the Pacific, Arthur A. Dugoni School of Dentistry moves to a new location in downtown San Francisco.