University of Chicago Medical Center

University of Chicago Medical Center
The futuristic, $700 million, 10-story, 1.2 million-square-foot New Hospital Pavilion, designed by renowned architect Rafael Viñoly, provides a high-technology facility that combines the optimal setting for patient care and collaborative clinical research with the flexibility to adapt to and drive forward rapid changes sweeping through medicine.

Rafael Viñoly Architects of New York and London, working with health care facility specialists Cannon Design of Grand Island, N.Y., developed the design. Viñoly designed the University’s award-winning Charles M. Harper Center for the Graduate School of Business.

The building’s innovative and efficient design will foster collaboration and interaction among clinicians while providing a haven for patients and families dealing with complex illness. It will be spacious, easy to navigate and filled with natural light.

The architects created that flexibility by basing the entire structure on an innovative grid system a matrix of modular cubes, each one 31.5 feet across and 18 feet high. The repeating modules, 102 on each floor, can be reconfigured as needed to accommodate a wide range of purposes, from inpatient beds to radiology suites to operating rooms, without changing the basic frame of the building.

Besides fostering collaboration, driving technological change and creating an environment where patient care, research and education could be developed seamlessly, “there was a clear intention to create a facility,” said Viñoly, “where architectural quality and operational efficiency are not in opposition.”
Playing off the traditional courtyard layout of much of the University, the design includes a Sky Lobby on the seventh floor, “effectively lifting the social, contemplative, outdoor space of the campus quad into the air,” according to Viñoly. The Sky Lobby, an elevated public space that “breaks the building’s mass into two components,” will contain central reception, family waiting areas, a chapel, gift shop, dining areas and other public spaces. Its floor-to-ceiling glass walls will provide expansive views of the campus and Lake Michigan to the east, Washington Park to the west, and the downtown Chicago skyline to the north. (source)
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