University of Detroit Mercy


School of Dentistry

Detroit, Michigan

145,000 GSF, 13,471 M2

Architecture, Building Systems Consulting, Engineering, Interior Architecture, Master Planning, Programming


University of Detroit Mercy's School of Dentistry, one of only 61 schools nationwide granting advanced professional degrees in the subject, long ago established a commitment to providing low-cost dental care to underserved members of the community. With its 75-year history of educating and giving back to the community, any decision regarding a new home for the dental school would have to be made carefully, and in concert with the mission of this Jesuit institution.

SmithGroupJJR worked hand-in-hand with Detroit Mercy through the four-year planning and design process, taking into consideration the interests of students, faculty and patients. The design team paid special attention to site selection, as the location would affect the school’s ability to continue providing both low-cost community dental care and an excellent educational environment.

Ultimately the stakeholders landed on a pair of four-story buildings near downtown Detroit that once housed Kindred Hospital and an adjacent medical office building. Now housing approximately 225clinical operatories, offices, state-of-the-art classrooms, and a simulation laboratory that can seat up to 100, the clinic-based setting serves the community – while the environment enhances the learning experience.

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