Building the Future of Medicine
Our new hospital is a 10-story “hospital for the future” that serves as the new core of the campus of the University of Chicago Medicine. An architectural and technological tour de force, our new hospital provides a home for complex specialty care with a focus on cancer, gastrointestinal disease, neuroscience, advanced surgery and high-technology medical imaging.
At 1.2 million square feet, the hospital is one of the largest buildings on the University of Chicago campus, changing the skyline of the South Side of Chicago. It occupies the north end of two city blocks, along the south side of 57th Street between Cottage Grove and Drexel Avenues. Each floor provides 100,000 square feet of space, the size of a typical Walmart store. “By far what I hear most is, ‘Wow, it is really huge,’” said Bill Huffman, vice president of Facilities, Design and Construction for the medical center and the Division of Biological Sciences.
Our new hospital contains 240 single-occupancy inpatient rooms including 52 intensive care beds; space for 28 operating rooms with leading-edge technology; and an integrated diagnostic and interventional platform including cardiac, gastrointestinal, neurological and vascular services. The building also has two floors of expansion space that could be used for additional patient care units as well as future leading-edge, technology-based interventional or surgical suites.
Central Nurse Station
In addition to operational efficiency and architectural quality, our new hospital has the internal capacity to rapidly and economically adjust to changes in technology and medicine, and to our facility needs, for decades to come.
“We’ve already bought and paid for long–term functional use,” Huffman said. “It is a building that will be with us for generations to come.”
Rafael Viñoly Architects, working with healthcare facility specialists Cannon Design, developed the forward-thinking plan for the building.
The architects created flexibility and adaptability by basing the entire hospital structure on a grid system organized into 85 modular cubes repeating on each floor. At 31.5 feet across by 18 feet high, these large cubes, or “bays,” can be repurposed over time to accommodate new innovations and changing needs. For example, one bay can enclose two patient rooms, one operating room or one interventional procedure room–without changing the basic framework of the building.
The hospital’s novel design also extends to its public spaces. The main lobby, located on the 7th level, separates the building into two components. This “Sky Lobby” will feature floor–to–ceiling glass walls, filling the space with natural light and providing panoramic views of the campus and downtown Chicago. The Sky Lobby houses central reception, family waiting areas, a chapel, the gift shop, dining areas and other public spaces. The ground level of the new hospital, open to the public, enhances the streetscape and include cafés and other retail businesses.
Food options feature a focus on fresh, local products from local and minority vendors. Dining options at the street level include a Hyde Park Market To-Go featuring chef-prepared hot foods, cold salads, a deli counter, staple groceries and homemade gelato bar. A Wolfgang Puck Express with signature wood-fired oven and a Starbucks fills the national chain niche.
In the Sky Lobby, the 24-hour dining area seats 200 and includes theater-style stations where diners can watch chefs prepare the food. Jamba Juice will provide fresh fruit smoothies.
“At Chicago, we’re never satisfied with the latest innovation — we’re always thinking of what comes next.”