This center serves the growing health care needs of Lakeview, Ill. and neighboring communities, with room to expand as demand for primary care continues to increase. It is one of a series of clinics to be designed and built over a multiyear project with a straightforward mission: Provide high-quality, affordable and accessible healthcare within adaptable, flexible, and restorative environments and facilities that coevolve people with nature and ultimately help the land and community thrive. During design, a virtual model of clinic operations was linked to real-time cost models, facility configurations and construction metrics—connecting spatial metrics like clinical area to operational strategies such as provider room assignments in order to optimize both operational planning and facility design.

An Integrated Lean Project Delivery team (ILPD) created a common materials and architectural language that are malleable to each of 30 locations. Ordinary materials are elevated using simple techniques: subtle brick projections amplified by the sun; precast concrete masonry units of varying aggregate colors and sizes, derived within the limitations of standard fabrication methods; and perforated corrugated metal panels laid out using maximum panel sizes to minimize cost in both material and installation.

For this specific facility, the design team adapted the architectural brand to a vacant big box store, transforming this section of the neighborhood into a bright, health-conscious community beacon complete with fresh landscaping, attractive fencing, and benches for community passers-by. An adjacent parking garage not only prevents patients and visitors from having to park far away and walk to the outpatient center, but also ensures that increased patient traffic doesn’t crowd streets for neighborhood residents and increases economic traffic to the area. Outdoor seating areas establish locations of respite for staff, a more welcoming waiting environment for patients and visitors, and institute space for the community to engage.

The drop-off canopy, the use of deep-red-purple Norman-sized brick with vertical projections, as well as cream-colored cast stone and zinc-colored metal panel are surface elements that fit into the existing Lakeview neighborhood’s personality while the expanded services improve access to quality healthcare are what lies beneath. The hotel-like waiting area, fit with advancements in patient experience, is designed with message boards, patient outcomes boards and kiosk registration in addition to registration and reception desks near the entry. The space is composed of core modules that include 12 exam rooms, workstations, “touchdown” areas, and shared common spaces such as lounges and conference rooms.

Project category: Conversion

Chief administrator: Peter Messina, director, design & construction, Advocate Aurora Health

Firm: HDR,

Design team: HDR (architect and landscape architect); The Boldt Company (general contractor); IMEG (consulting MEP engineer); Eriksson Engineering Associates (consulting civil engineer)

Total building area (sq. ft.): 52,000

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $403

Total construction cost (excluding land): $21 million

Completed: August 2018