State-of-the-art renovation at Penn Dental Medicine clinic with Futrus® Ascend Wall System featuring Corian® Solid Surface

Photo credit: by Halkin Mason Photography courtesy of EwingCole


Penn Dental Medicine is among the oldest university-affiliated dental schools in the nation. In FY 2019, there were approximately 179,700 patient visits within the School’s teaching clinics. Their vision was to create a state-of-the-art renovation at the Main Clinic, now known as the Robert I. Schattner Clinic. This renovation would feature 74 semi- private operatory areas, with four devoted to radiography, all designed to maximize student learning and provide patient privacy and comfort.


Creating a unique space that functions effectively for teaching dentistry and treating hundreds of patients daily required a wall system that could overcome a wide variety of design challenges:

  • Durable & Repairable
  • Hygienic, Easy-to-clean & Low Maintenance
  • Modular & Adaptable
  • Technology Integration & Future-proof
  • Ability to meet tight construction deadline
  • Promotes a calming environment
  • Environmental & Sustainable

“We required a solid surface solution that was durable, easy to clean, modular and adaptable. We also needed a company with expertise in clinical environments,” explains Conrad Talley, Principal Architect at EwingCole.

Photo credit: by Halkin Mason Photography courtesy of EwingCole


The Futrus® Ascend Wall System is a modular, self-supporting, half-wall designed to provide unmatched durability, hygiene and design flexibility. It was chosen by Architects at EwingCole, as the ideal solution to make the Main Clinic renovation a success. The system features removable Corian® Solid Surface wall panels on a patented structural framing system. Conrad Talley highlights the importance of the framing system. “The compact structural frame is just 2” thick enabling us to maximize space between the operatories and within the operatories, while meeting the ergonomic requirements of the clinicians.”

Durable & Repairable

Each wall panel is made from Corian® Solid Surface which resists scratching, staining chipping and peeling to ensure a durable working environment for students and minimal damage risk from the daily flow of patients. Should damage ever occur, the Corian® Solid Surface can be repaired onsite quickly and easily to ensure minimal operatory room downtime. Each modular Corian® panel is also digitally recorded enabling rapid replacement if necessary.

Photo credit: by Halkin Mason Photography courtesy of EwingCole

Hygienic, Easy-to-Clean, Low Maintenance

With hundreds of procedures performed each day, risk of cross infection is high. Corian® Solid Surface is GREENGUARD certified to resist the growth of bacteria, virus and mold, creating a safe environment for patients and staff. Corian® is also bleach cleanable, seamless and non- porous, leaving no place for dirt and microbes to hide. When compared to traditional materials, Corian® is twice as easy to clean and disinfect, helping to reduce cleaning staff costs and increase patient turnover time.

Modular, Adaptable

The Ascend Wall System can be adapted in height and length. Each modular panel can also incorporate a variety of components including glass, architectural acrylic, desking, sinks and technology for added functionality. “The ability to adapt the Futrus® Wall Panel System to our design needs is a key component to the success of this space.” highlights Conrad Talley. For the Main Clinic renovation, The Ascend Wall System was adapted so that each operatory provides a balance of patient privacy, ease of faculty supervision and student observation and interaction.

Photo credit: by Halkin Mason Photography courtesy of EwingCole

Technology Integration & Future Adaptability

The new clinic is outfitted with the latest chair-side CAD/CAM technology and features additional touchdown spaces and sink areas seamlessly integrated into the panels. The Ascend Wall System enables services to run within the structural frame and technology to be integrated within panels themselves. Should future technology requirements change the individual panels can be replaced and upgraded quickly, easily and cost effectively. Dr. Markus Blatz, Professor and Chair of the Department of Preventive and Restorative Sciences highlights, “The (Robert I. Schattner) clinic is equipped to educate students and treat patients with the latest techniques and technologies, geared towards extensive integration of digital technologies and readied to accommodate future developments.”

Ability to Meet Tight Construction Deadline

The project required tight deadlines to be met in order to meet the start of the new school semester. Each Ascend Wall component is custom built and prefabricated off-site using the latest CAD and machine processing techniques, ensuring consistency of quality, reduced site traffic and rapid installation.

Calming Environment

Each Corian® Solid Surface panel is finished using a multi-step process to create a subtle matte sheen to reduce surface reflection and promote a calming environment. Corian® Glacier White was chosen for the Schattner Clinic; however, the Ascend Wall System is available a range of Corian® Solid Surface colors to meet any design vision. “The modernized equipment will allow us to continue providing state-of-the-art patient-centered care with lower levels of patient anxiety due to the more, soothing, welcoming nature of the clinic.” Adds Dr. Najeed Saleh, Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs.

Environmental & Sustainable

Sustainability is an import consideration for today’s design projects. As with all Futrus innovations, The Ascend Wall System is designed with sustainability in mind. The patented structural support system is made from recyclable aluminium and the panels are made from Corian® which is GREENGUARD Gold certified and can contribute to LEED credits.

Photo credit: by Halkin Mason Photography courtesy of EwingCole

Project Outcome

More than a year after the project was installed, Conrad Talley provides feedback. “We hear many one-word responses from visitors to the space, such as ‘wow’ and ‘awesome’. It has been fantastically well received by patients, students, teachers and the faculty. After a full year of operation, the Ascend Wall System is still looking and functioning like new.” Mark Allen. Futrus® Co-founder and Head of Design concludes, “We are excited to have developed a unique wall system that provides a wide range of functional and aesthetic benefits for almost any space.” Conrad Talley adds further, “I can easily imagine the various practices at EwingCole adapting the Futrus® Wall Panel System for other types of spaces, from workplace environments to higher education.” Since installation, the Robert I Shattner Clinic renovation continues to receive industry awards and award nominations.

For More Information

To learn more about Futrus® Solutions with Corian® Design please call 1.877.388.787, email us at or visit

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