Integrating Dental Health with Physical Wellness

Old Dominion University, Health Sciences Building, Norfolk, VA

With a focus on health science, Old Dominion University’s health sciences building will house the schools of Dental Hygiene, Rehabilitation Science (physical therapy, occupational therapy and athletic training), and Medical Diagnostics and Translational Sciences. The spaces in the building will include research and teaching laboratories, simulation laboratories, classrooms, faculty and staff offices, student and faculty interaction and collaboration spaces, and a physical and occupational therapy clinic.

The dental research space is co-located next to the gait analysis lab to spur collaboration between these seemingly disparate disciplines. The Dental Hygiene Clinic and the Therapy Clinic are located on the ground level and share the reception and waiting area. In addition, the first floor has three, 48-student, scale-up team-based learning classrooms that open between each other and to the building lobby to create a large community space for the entire university to use. This floor serves as a pass-through that invites students and faculty from other disciplines on campus and connects them with the happenings in this building to generate interest and foster collaborations. In addition, specialized spaces like the cadaver lab, dental simulation lab, gait analysis lab and the cord blood lab, all serve as campus cores in addition to serving multiple disciplines in the building.

To promote sustainable design and an open collaborative environment, each floor is equipped with kitchenettes, lounges, student lockers, conference and meeting rooms, and group study spaces, both closed and open. To provide daylight and views to a larger number of building occupants, open workstations are located on the perimeter while private offices are located on the interior with glazed walls to take advantage of borrowed light and views.