he design award judges appreciated renovation projects where facilities are modernized and noticeably improved despite constraints caused by lack of space and the need to fit in with the existing features of a hospital campus.
That was definitely the case with the honorable mention awarded to the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital Center for Advanced Care, a $27.1 million renovation and addition project, which opened in October 2006 and was designed by OWP/P in Chicago.
Previously, the outpatient imaging and treatment facility was said to be underused, had little natural light, anddespite its prominent location on the 583-bed hospitals 72-acre campus in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridgewas mostly hidden from view behind a parking deck.View a slide show of all the winners
The architects described the new three-story structure, which mixes 94,000 square feet of new and renovated space, as a change catalyst, saying it redefined the hospitals image and set the tone for more redevelopment to come.
The awards jury agreed with this assessment.
Judge Mardelle Shepley, a professor and director of the Center for Health Systems & Design at Texas A&M University, College Station, calls the project a convincing new skin, while John Driscoll, president of AlterCare, a Skokie, Ill.-based real estate company, notes that it updated an outmoded facility with a new public face.
Charles Alexander, principal of Ellicott City, Md.-based Alexander Design Studios, noted that the project has a certain fussiness on the inside, but he also praised it as an admirable face-lift.
The facility includes three departments: advanced imaging, breast health and cancer care. They are connected vertically by a three-story atrium that provides natural light and distinct entry points for the different departments in a manner that designers say creates a sense of community while also helping to protect patient privacy. Frosted and patterned glass was also incorporated into the design to allow both privacy and outside light.
The buildings existing floor-to-ceiling heights were considered to be too low to fit new imaging equipment, so the addition was designed to accommodate the physical requirements of modern technology.