01.07.2016Asheville, Architecture

River Arts Dentistry Update

Since it’s the start of a new year we thought we would post an update on one of our projects that is about to be completed.

River Arts Dentistry is a new dental practice located in the historic Glen Rock Hotel building in the River Arts District of Asheville. Our approach was to create a space that reflected the character of the River Arts District while at the same time conveying the cleanliness and professionalism of a dentist office. Due to the constraints of a narrow footprint within an existing building, an efficient open floorpan was created allowing for unique approaches to workflow within a dental office.


Existing Conditions


It was our intent as well as the owners to blur the lines between public spaces and what is typically seen as back of house programmatic elements of a dental practice. The craft that goes into mold making and the construction of various dental appliances is an art form unto itself and the owners were excited to reveal this process to the patients. A unique openness between patient operatories and laboratory space was created to allow for transparency in the dental process while at the same time providing needed patient privacy.



Initial plan sketches and finalized floorpan showing the reception area and operatories on the north wall and lab space and storage on the south wall.


Using Revit, we were able to provide the client with actual representations of the space


The program includes a reception / waiting area, 4 operatories, lab space, an office and staff break room. Leading you visually from the entrance to the dental operatories is a 10 foot tall, CNC milled plywood wall with an abstract map of the River Arts District that runs the length of the space. The purpose of the map wall is to serve as a visual link from the public area of the space back to the operatories and lab. The map wall also houses storage and work counters while at the same time functioning as a piece of art that brings a visual uniqueness to the space while speaking to the larger River Arts District Community.


Reception area and map wall feature


Map wall conceptual rendering


Map wall looking back towards the entry


Interior materials and color play a large role in the project. Conceptually the space is intended to mix the inherent nature of the neighboring art galleries and industrial buildings while maintaining the professionalism and function of a working dental practice.


Material board depicting the intended color scheme and materiality of the space.


An industrial feel is created with exposed concrete floors, overhead structure, and duct work. The cool color palette reflects the cleanliness of a dental practice while the plywood map wall lends warmth to the space.


Operatories on left side of hallway and labs on the right side; Accent orange lights in the waiting area; custom logo signage


Storage closet, lab space and sterilization space ; Patient bathroom


Finally, the client’s desire for SPARC Design to be involved in every aspect of the project allowed us to maintain a visual language that extends from the architecture and furnishings all the way to promotional materials. We were able to have input on everything from the threading and material of the dental chairs to the design of the logo and business cards.

RAD-Promotional-Materials RAD-Promotional-Materials-2

The cooperation and trust of the owner has made this one our most satisfying projects to date and we look forward to the grand opening of River Arts Dentistry!

Project Team:

Contractor: Wells Construction Group

PME Engineers: SUD Associates

Millwork & Custom CNC: Lentz Cabinets



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