To help busy professionals manage their health, the hospital renovated 5,000 square feet of existing office space to provide a new wellness center. While the function of the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Center for Partnership Medicine is clinical, the space is designed with a focus on hospitality, to provide a warm, attentive atmosphere similar to that of a high-service hotel.

Patients, or “members,” can take a streamlined approach to maintaining their health by spending a day at the center, where they have access to a full range of Northwestern Memorial's best doctors and specialists. At the end of the day, the member has undergone a comprehensive physical and leaves with a dossier of test results and personalized preventive health strategies.

Instead of a common waiting room, each member has a private suite including a shower, toilet, and changing room. The suites are fully wired for Internet access so that the member may conduct business during downtime. Steps away is a cozy member lounge with a catering kitchen. Interior finishes are selected from a rich palette, including mahogany wood paneling, molded glazing, and decorative lighting.

The center has six member suites, a reception area, three exam rooms including a stress test room, a small lab for sample collection, an exercise room for physical training, three physicians' offices, a conference room, six workstations for “escorts” who provide the members with individual support services, and a staff break room.

Project category: Conversion (completed October 2005)

Chief administrator: Dean Harrison, President and CEO, (312) 926-2000

Firm: Loebl Schlossman & Hackl, (312) 565-4531

Design team: Jeffrey K. Liggett, AIA, IIDA, Principal-in-Charge; George B. Chapman, AIA, Project Designer; Abigail Lin Clary, AIA, CSI, CDT, Project Architect; Pamela R. Rosenberg, ASID, Project Interior Designer (Loebl Schlossman & Hackl); Steve Sovak, PE, MEP/Fire Protection Engineering Project Manager (WMA Consulting Engineers); Clodagh, Owner's Consultant (Clodagh Design)

Photography: David Clifton

Total building area (sq. ft.): 5,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $168

Total construction cost (excluding land): $838,987