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November 30, 2012

Rush’s New Hospital Receives National Recognition for its Design

(CHICAGO)―The new hospital building at Rush University Medical Center, the Tower, recently received two awards in this year's American Institute of Architects (AIA) Chicago Design Excellence Awards competition. The Divine Detail award gives special recognition for the terrarium and Edward A. Brennan Entry Pavilion for its warm and inviting design, and the Interior Architecture Award for Rush’s “inside-out” design approach to support an environment of health and wellness.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Healthcare Awards program showcases the best of health care building design and health care design-oriented research. The projects that are selected exhibit conceptual strengths that solve aesthetic, civic, urban and social concerns, as well as the requisite functional and sustainability concerns of a hospital.

Divine Detail Award - Special Recognition

The Edward A. Brennan Entry Pavilion provides a welcoming space for patients and visitors, as well as a critical link between the new and existing care facilities. The focal point of the pavilion is a 3-story high open-air terrarium, which introduces an exterior landscaped space into the interior without creating air contamination issues associated with interior plantings.

Laminated low-iron glass is curved to fit a freestanding steel pipe frame that spans 50 feet through an aperture in roof to provide a sculptural element both inside the Pavilion and on its level 4 roof garden which relates to the two nearby skylights. The frame, a tilted elliptical cage that tapers to a circle, also provides a means to maintain the exterior (internal) face of the point-supported glass. Donors’ names are subtly added to the lower glass units for recognition.

Light studies showed that, although the terrarium provided significant daylight to the interior, illumination at its floor level would be insufficient for most plant types. The team therefore developed a plant palette based on deep forest environments. The combination of ferns, mosses, spring bulbs, and deciduous trees mimic a natural environment and change with the seasons.

Interior Architecture Award - Citation of Merit

The Tower was designed using   an “inside-out” approach. A focus on patient, family and staff comfort and improved outcomes inspired both the butterfly-shaped design of the bed tower and a number of interior design solutions to support and enhance an overall environment of health and wellness. The four triangular-shaped points that comprise the structure of the butterfly-shaped tower were designed to minimize steps between nursing stations and patient rooms. Nursing stations are decentralized and open to accommodate barrier-free consultation. Each patient room contains distinctly expressed zones for patient, family and caregiver.

Throughout the building, floor-to-ceiling windows allow for ample day lighting in key areas such as an OR corridor where surgeons can enjoy exposure to natural light and panoramic city views after a long procedure.

A four-story public lobby, the Edward A. Brennan Entry Pavilion, with a glazed open air terrarium unites new and existing buildings and brings natural planting into the interior environment while addressing indoor air contamination issues associated with indoor planting.

The interiors were finished with low-VOC-emitting adhesives, sealants, paints, and flooring, contributing to high indoor air quality. The Rush project is the largest LEED Gold-New Construction   certified health care project in the world.

Other Award Recognition
The Tower has received numerous other design and construction awards since it has opened in January including the following:

LEED Gold Certification, making it the largest new-construction health care project in the world to be LEED Gold certified (April 2012)

KPMG named the Rush Tower one of the most innovative and inspiring urban architecture projects in the world (Aug. 2012)

Building Design + Construction 2012 Building Team Awards Platinum Award recognizing the collaboration on design concept and structural compilations (May 2012)

Awarded the 2012 Project Achievement Award from Construction Managers Association of America (Oct. 2012) for Program Phase Buildings

Named Project of the Year by the Engineer News Record – Midwest (Nov. 2012)


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