Bascom Palmer Eye Institute (BPEI) in Abu Dhabi is the eye care provider’s first international venture. Designed to bring a world-class level of care to the United Arab Emirates and the surrounding region, the new 70,000-square-foot freestanding ambulatory care center is programmed to provide comprehensive outpatient eye care services, from exams to refractive Lasik procedures. Envisioned to provide high-quality, hospitality oriented patient service, the facility will also serve as an educational resource to local physicians and caregivers.

The facility design is comprised of 34 exam rooms including visual field, long-eye lanes and photo rooms; a refractive suite with two Lasik rooms; an OSD/ERG clinic; an ambulatory surgery suite with three operating suites and Femto laser room; an optical shop and lab; a pharmacy and auditorium; a landscaped atrium with café; VIP waiting and amenities; and prayer rooms.

To optimize staff efficiency and patient flow, exam rooms are arranged in “pod” configuration, accessed by separate corridors for staff/materials and patients. Exam rooms are allocated for effective staffing ratios and ease of access from tech work areas. Because Bascom Palmer’s business plan projects growth in this facility, the center is designed to accommodate vertical and horizontal expansion.

The exterior design of the building is iconic, creating an identifiable brand image and projecting an impression of high technology and quality. The main entry and surgical suites above are conceived in the image of a gem — a reference to the qualities and functions of the eye — which are realized in the faceted glass facade. The exam wings are configured as a setting for the gem, or as a protective brow element between the gem and the harsh desert environment.

Gresham Smith was proud to once again work with Julio Ripoll, AIA.  Mr. Ripoll provided ophthalmology design expertise and space planning support for clinics, surgery, Lasik and diagnostic functions and specialty support services such as pharmacy and optical retail.


SOZA Capital Consultants LLC


Abu Dhabi,

Project Type



Project Contact

Our team designs with genuine care for ingenious solutions.

Design with us.

Jim Langlois, AIA, LEED AP
Jim Langlois, AIA, LEED AP
Executive Vice President/Market Vice President, Healthcare