James Steinkamp
James Steinkamp

Park Ridge, Illinois

OWP/P | Cannon Design

Category: Category A: Built, Less than $25 million (construction cost)

Project: Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Center for Advanced Care

Client: Advocate Health Care

Project Location: Park Ridge, Illinois

Architect: OWP/P | Cannon Design

Interior Designer: OWP/P | Cannon Design

General Contractor: Power Construction Company

MEP engineer: Grumman Butkus Associates (Mechanical); Dickerson Engineering Inc. (Electrical)

Civil engineer: GRAEF

Photographers: Steve Hall-Hedrich Blessing; James Steinkamp

Construction cost (not including equipment or soft costs): $24 million

Building area GSF: 136,000

Completion date: October 2006

The Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Center for Advanced Care project is an addition to and renovation of an on-campus West Pavilion, which was an older, under-utilized building in a prime location. The existing building suffered from limited floor-to-floor heights, scarce natural light, and poor air circulation. The design team responded by creating an open, light-filled environment for medical/radiation oncology, imaging, and breast health services.

This high-volume facility needed visibility from the campus entrance, but a parking deck blocked it from view. By stretching the envelope of the addition, the corner is visible from the campus road. This revitalization project is a change catalyst, redefining the hospital's image and setting the tone for future development.

Program components are given identity on the elevation and through the transparent façade. The building takes program pieces traditionally internalized and, through sliding and interlocking of program elements of The Center, Imaging and the Women's Center, reveals entries, exposures, and landscape elements.

Steve Hall - Hedrich Blessing
Steve Hall - Hedrich Blessing

The community needed a consolidated outpatient center. Press Ganey patient satisfaction surveys regularly indicated concerns with lack of privacy, difficulty in navigating through and parking near the hospital, and trouble achieving timely appointments. The building reflected an outdated institutional model of care.

Thoughtful planning and design addressed the client's requirements. The team identified the highest and best uses for each space, and then assigned space based on the program. For example, due to ceiling height constraints, imaging now occupies the southern end of the addition, which was designed with higher floor-to-floor heights to meet the needs of today's medical equipment. As a result of this change, Press Ganey patient satisfaction scores soared from 18 percent to 96 percent.

James Steinkamp
James Steinkamp

The new Center for Advanced Care expresses its three major service lines as separate areas, each with its own entry. The Cancer Care Center, Center for Advanced Imaging, and Caldwell Breast Health Center-the major departments-are each directly accessible via the adjacent parking deck and the main circulation spine that provides natural light and facilitates wayfinding. The departments are connected vertically by the atrium, which creates a sense of community within the building, yet each also has a distinct entry that protects patient privacy.

The challenge of matching the low floor-to-floor heights necessitated a circulation and public space strategy that would build a sense of community within the building, while maintaining discretion of use. Circulation and atrium spaces are applied like a sort of “faceplate” to the existing structure of the building. To provide light and facilitate wayfinding, the main circulation spine features a three-story atrium.

The result is a redefinition of public/program space within the existing vocabulary of the hospital-a kind of semi-transparent community edge. This is architecture of inclusion and connection to the site.

Steve Hall - Hedrich Blessing
Steve Hall - Hedrich Blessing

The project is an excellent example of repurposing of older building stock, rather than tearing down and starting anew. The main core of the building was maintained, and re-utilized to form the basis of a revitalized building developed around a new vision for the building. The program for the building supported this vision and renovation. A green roof was installed on a portion of the building to create awareness of sustainability and for views from the chemo treatment bays to help ease patient tension and anxiety. Healthcare Design 2010 November;10(11):195-196