Advocate Lutheran General Hospital and Advocate Lutheran General Children's Hospital Patient Care Tower Park Ridge, IL

Cannon Design


The vision for this 192-bed replacement patient care tower was a commitment to patient-centered care, with the stated goal of improving the environment for patients, family, and staff. Patient safety, floor plan efficiency, and improved quality of life for patients and caregivers influenced the striking design of the tower, as did the desire to create a new entry for the hospital.

The design team felt that the greatest success of this project was the positive impact on the facility's operations. The decentralized nursing care model, which was accomplished through flow mapping of the building, led to closer distances between caregivers and patients. Other positive changes include inpatient floors laid out in virtual “pods” using an easily modified universal floor plate design, a separation of clinical and public circulation, and same-handed patient rooms with outboard restrooms.

This attitude and direction got high praise from our Architectural Showcase jury, as well. “Very innovative and patient-centered design,” said one juror, while another juror commented that the design team “spent a good bit of time on flow redesign and adjacencies.”

Our jury responded positively to the overall architectural vision of the project, as well, with one juror specifically mentioning that “the planning and resulting mass and form of the building are striking, bold, and impressive.” Another juror took the comments a level deeper, stating that the “forms are elegant and interesting. Each elevation offers something different to keep one's interest yet it all works as a whole.” The ease with which this large-scale new project fit within the existing campus was also noted.


The leadership team also embraced a high level of responsibility to the community and the environment by striving to become the first LEED Gold certified facility in the Midwest. Before the project even began, an ambitious “Recycling Task Force”-which later transformed into the “Green LEEDers”-started a recycling program on campus, leading to a reduction of food and medical waste by 10% campus-wide.

These greening efforts greatly impressed our jury, leading to one juror stating, “The Recycling Task Force and Green LEEDers accomplishments were impressive.” Another says that there was an “interesting positioning of the project to kick up the green movement” on campus.


University of New Mexico Cancer Treatment and Clinical Research Facility Albuquerque, NM

Rohde May Keller McNamara Architecture, P.C., and VOA Associates Incorporated

Photography: ©2010 Kirk Gittings

This $57.5-million, 206,000-sq.-ft. National Cancer Insitute-designated cancer center includes a multidisciplinary patient clinic, therapeutics and treatment services, diagnostics and targeted screening, clinical trials, administration, and an education center. The project's two primary objectives were to create a state-of-the-art facility that would promote efficient patient care and high staff performance, and also to create an inviting and uplifting hospitality-like environment to encourage wellness, as well as a connection to the region's unique tri-cultural patient base.

This latter concept drove the design of the circulation and waiting areas, and also struck a note with the Architectural Showcase jury, who noted the “exquisite” materials chosen, “colors appropriate to the cultural and natural landscape,” and also the “wonderful integration of nature and views, achieving LEED Silver rating.” The successful use of natural materials was also praised, as was the balance of interior details. Another juror notes that “both the exterior and interior architecture speak beautifully to its surrounding landscape” and that the solid use of plant life softens the main entrance. Our jury clearly felt that a deep, meaningful connection was successfully made to the surrounding areas.

Speaking of specific details, praise was given for the “creative and unexpected external features such as the staircase.” Also striking a positive note was the “Lantern of Hope” atrium that connects the main lobby to the sky through four stories, which was called “a helpful and uplifting reference point.”

The patient-centric mission influenced design decisions, from planning to finishes, all of which were summed up neatly by one jury member: “Excellent planning, and a clear sense of regionality, material selection, and detailing. Nothing negative to report…it is a true winner.”

Jersey Shore University Medical Center Neptune, NJ

WHR Architects

Photography: ©2010 Woodruff/Brown Photography

This combination new construction/renovation project opened in 2009, setting the foundation for Jersey Shore University Medical Center's transformed approach to medical care. The expanded facilities include a new patient care pavilion with 144 all-private rooms, expansion of surgical services, an emergency department/trauma center that can treat 100,000 patients annually, a 975-car parking garage, and renovations to existing buildings.

The design team grasped onto the facility's vision via a metaphor: a ship's sail on the nearby New Jersey coastline, harnessing the wind to guide the vessel home. While in lesser hands, such a concept might be a bit hamfisted, our Architectural Showcase jury found it was perfectly executed; as one juror commented, “The sailing metaphor becomes the source of a design language that is skillfully referenced in many different ways without being overly trite and literal.”

The approach clicked with our jury in a big way, who praised the “well-integrated design with particular attention to bringing natural light into the spaces,” as well as the “high degree of emphasis on the three-dimensional design of space with color and materials used to effectively support.”

True to the facility's mission, the jury found that the solid design worked hand-in-hand with the desire to transform the medical approach, and that this was enabled by the new design and blended well with the existing facility. As one juror states, “The organizational concept is quite good, with the new atrium serving as the hinge between the new entry sequence and the connection to the existing hospital; all with an outboard orientation. It looks so obvious, but it usually never is.”

Summing up, our jury was impressed with nearly every aspect of this project: “This project team did everything right-LEED Gold, Pebble Project, research supported, community fundraising, healing environments, and the list goes on. Wonderful project. Citation worthy!”

Healthcare Design 2010 September;10(9):64-69