This project's goal was to create a new prototype for off-site patient centers that would establish Alexian Brothers Hospital Network as the preeminent healthcare provider in the northwestern Chicago suburbs. The facility combines state-of-the-art diagnostics and imaging with rehabilitation services in affiliation with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago. This project is housed in a strip shopping center in Schaumburg, Illinois, that once housed a variety of retail establishments. A chief design concern was to sensitively incorporate the cultures of both institutions into a single entity.

The design, which evolved with input from both institutions, employs a contemporary feeling tempered with unusual features, such as French-style doors and other casework details. Artwork was chosen to enhance the design and is appropriate to the therapies or treatments given. A central reception and waiting area establishes a unified feeling for the entire clinic. Patient information areas immediately adjacent to the waiting room allow patients and family members to research or access educational video programs. A color scheme that uses organic colors (greens, golds, and terra-cotta) allows for bolder color in the rehabilitation area and softer, more muted tones for the diagnostic and imaging area.

This design concept includes using organic shapes to suggest movement and softness, as seen in the open-grid detail above the reception desk that is repeated in stronger colors in the large rehab rooms. The carpet pattern and glass panels at the reception desk and information cubicles repeat variations of these forms in other scales.

The rehabilitation program houses cardiac rehabilitation in a health-club-like setting; Physical, Occupational, and Speech therapies; a working kitchen; and a meeting room that can be used for a variety of community health-related programs. Attention was given to the floor design, since movement is an important part of the rehabilitation process. A walkway was designed into the rubber flooring using color bars and patterns, so that patients moving along the walk can gauge their progress. The ceiling plane was also used to add a dynamic architectural feeling to this large interior space. The open area gives staff great visibility to patients.

On the diagnostic side, services include X-Ray, Ultrasound, Dexascan, mammography, an Open MRI, and a 16-slice CT scanner. Ambulance/stretcher patients have direct access to a private holding area. Because of the location of the exam rooms on the walkway portion of the shopping center, the large glass areas were covered with a secondary glazing that was etched to allow daylight into each exam or consult room but provide total privacy for patients and physicians.

Project category: Conversion (completed March 2004)

Chief administrator: Penny Higgins, RN, Assistant Vice-President, Alexian Brothers Hospital Network, (847) 981-5771

Firms: Proteus Group, (312) 337-7800; LaPage & Associates, Ltd., (630) 665-0006

Design team: Sam Salahi, Architect (LaPage & Associates, Ltd.); Alan W. Mack, Principal, Interior Design; Elizabeth Erazmus, Interior Designer; Brian K. Wattleworth, PE, Principal, Electrical Engineering; Raymond Collins, PE, Principal, Mechanical Engineering (Proteus Group)

Photography: ©2004 Anthony May

Total building area (sq. ft.): 23,800

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $150

Total cost (excluding land): $3,570,000