To illuminate this modest 1,900-square-foot dental office, semitranslucent partitions—which the architects dubbed “floss walls”—filter daylight into exam and operating rooms and also safeguard patient privacy. Low-irrigation landscaping references the urban park nearby and materials serve double duty in order to save on space and money. (For example, a horizontal slot in the waiting room’s steel-and-wood wall offers views into the office; the wall folds in on the other side to double as a light table for X-rays.)

Jury: “It delightfully shows what you can do with a small space on a tight budget through a design that is visually very interesting and highly functional.”

Client: “We’ve now been open 10 months and we’re booked out an entire month. It usually takes a dental office 10 years to achieve that type of patient flow. We were told by a lot of people there was absolutely no way we could open a dental office from scratch, in San Francisco, and in this economy. The design of this office is what made our business.”  —Sara Creighton, co-owner, Washington Square Park Dental