Increasing patient volumes and high bed utilization at Advocate Christ Medical Center (ACMC) caused capacity rates to be reached in the ICU, surgical suites, and emergency department. Years of incremental development had compromised traffic and pedestrian safety, while eliminating green spaces for respite. The dated, undersized main campus entry did not reflect the hospital’s prominence and Advocate’s reputation for providing world-class care to southern Chicago and the surrounding region.
Conceived and executed as the fulcrum of a new campus plan, ACMC’s East Tower is a landmark that solves all of these problems. More than a bold campus entry, the East Tower re-cast the interface between the hospital and community. It gives the entire campus an uplifting and more appropriately urban image while serving as a symbol for the community and as a beacon of healing for patients and families.
The expansive lobby is designed to orient visitors and support wayfinding. Throughout the building, places of respite such as family lounges and the cafeteria – which includes an outdoor café area – benefit from exceptional daylighting and views. The labor and delivery unit is directly connected to the parking garage, providing direct access for laboring patients.
The primary architectural feature of the tower - a cantilevered column of family lounges – allows families a break while expressing Advocate’s focus on family support. The stacked, day lit lounges look out to the main campus entry and surrounding green space, allowing family members to step away from the bedside without leaving the unit.