Developed as a new healthcare model, the Integrative Medicine Centre is a 5,000-sq.-ft. medical facility for patients seeking safe, effective alternative treatment options for their wellness in a comfortable, Feng Shui-inspired setting.

The facility includes eight treatment rooms, a library and tea bar, two meditation rooms, a movement room, a shower and dressing area, an office and support areas, and storage for equipment, laundry, and retail products. Services include acupuncture, herbal medicine, chiropractic care, massage therapy, biofeedback, nutritional and spiritual counseling, meditation, and a variety of fitness classes.

The location, a three-level storefront on a sloping site, offered limited space for the expansive program. The floor plan was created by connecting each level with a ramp to allow patients to move from the lowest level of reception and retail space to the upper level of quiet rooms and treatment areas. Circulation begins at the two entrances and flows into the reception area and café. Patients then journey up the “decompression path” to the dressing area and treatment rooms or to the movement studio. The focal point of the decompression path is a modern interpretation of a traditional Chinese moon gate that provides a transition into the treatment area.

Finishes incorporate the five elements of wood, earth, water, fire, and metal. Slate and cork flooring, custom wood casework, and prefabricated fountains provide a natural surrounding. The ceiling is slate blue and mounted with simulated white “clouds” made of stretched fabric to create a sense of open sky.

Project category: Conversion (completed August 2003)

Chief administrator: N/A (facility is now owned by another tenant)

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

Design team: Jeffrey K. Ligett, AIA, IIDA, Principal-in-Charge; Tom Z. Spanier, IIDA, Project Designer

Photography: ©2003 Bruce Van Inwegen

Total building area (sq. ft.): 5,191

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $98

Total construction cost (excluding land): $506,279