Project category: Remodel/Renovation (completed September 2006)

Chief administrator: Jay Kreuzer, President & CEO, (708) 383-6200

Firm: Loebl Schlossman & Hackl, (312) 565-.4590

Design team: David Urschel, AIA, Project Manager; George “Jib” Chapman, AIA, LEED AP, Project Designer; Tom Spanier, IIDA, Interior Designer (Loebl Schlossman & Hackl); John Mason, PE, Mechanical Engineer (Grumman/Butkus Associates); Rick Sabatello, Electrical Engineer (Dickerson Engineering); Paul Hysen, FAAHC, CHE, Food Service Consultant (The Hysen Group)

Photography: ©2006 Bruce Van Inwegen; Before photos ©2005 Loebl Schlossman & Hackl

Total building area (sq. ft.): 5,109

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $329

Total construction cost (excluding land): $1,679,000

West Suburban Medical Center's cafeteria had become worn and cluttered over the years and was in need of an upgrade. The goals of this renovation project were to improve space efficiency while maintaining the same amount of seating and to create a comfortable, attractive atmosphere.

The remodeled dining facility nearly doubled the size of the servery and created behind-the-counter circulation for food servers. Customers can circulate through the space without feeling crowded, and staff can restock grab-and-go items without having to stand in customers' way. The new cash register stations allow both the cashiers and customers more space.

The newly remodeled dining room incorporates built-in banquettes and booths to conserve space. Other seating includes round tables with five seats, four-top tables along a window, and two-top tables. The variety of seating options, along with an art-glass wall, adds a feeling of intimacy by creating microenvironments.

An inviting, soothing atmosphere is created through the use of warm wood finishes, porcelain-tile flooring in the servery, textured carpeting in the seating area, cushioned chairs, quartz countertops, carefully selected artwork, and a color palette of gold, teal, and cream. Several kinds of decorative lighting dramatically improve the mood and make the space feel more like a restaurant than a hospital cafeteria.