Project name:

Esse Smile

Project description:

EsseSmile, a new pediatric dental office in DUMBO, Brooklyn, was designed as a prototype system as the first of a series of offices throughout the city. The goal was to create an aesthetic and immersive experience that goes beyond the expectations of a typical dentist office.

This project exemplifies a design strategy that OPerA Studio is applying to project types where multiple iterations of a space are anticipated. This strategy can be applied to businesses such as retail, dermatology, workshare offices, restaurants, and hospitality uses where the spaces become a component of the brand identity. The design evolves out of the creation of a series of components, where each component performs a specific function within the space but also contains binding and common physical or design characteristics which allow them to be combined to form a coherent whole with each iteration.

The end result is a more robust visual and physical experience that does not rely on purely aesthetically driven design decisions but creates a language and a design system that is specific to the project.


Research Vignettes

The first step in the research and programming phase included isolating each design element and creating vignettes that express how we desire that element to perform. These vignettes are without ‘design,’ in that they are not formal but illustrate a result that we can measure the actual design against.


Key Spaces

The early design phase included developing a series of key spaces that display physical characteristics to meet the program goals. An aesthetic language emerges to support the program.


Preliminary Component Assembly




Set of Formal Design Components


Assemblage of Formal Components

The next design phase involves testing configurations of base components. At this point, aesthetic and compositional decisions are made to consolidate and tie everything together.








Floor Plan