- Project Name
- Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
HDR ,Gensler ,EGG Office
- Project Types
- Project Scope
- Year Completed
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- Project Status
From the May 2019 Issue of ARCHITECT:
By combining patient care with research, a lab helps adults and children regain mobility.
Can a place for healing also be a workshop for innovation? At the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab in Chicago, a unique team of designers has answered with an emphatic “yes.” The facility is a bold new effort aimed at simultaneously providing therapeutic services to the severely disabled, while also serving as a research center that brings together doctors, specialists, and patient-care professionals to discover new solutions and treatments that can be applied elsewhere. To make real this hybrid program, a diverse cast of players was brought on board—Omaha, Neb.’s HDR; the Chicago office of Gensler; Culver City, Calif.’s Clive Wilkinson Architects; and Los Angeles’ EGG Office—each bringing its particular competency to bear on the diverse clinical, medical, and human problems that the space needs to address.
The last of these was the most essential: Flowing and intricate in plan, and bright and colorful in expression, the space lacks most of the typical institutional trappings—the double-loaded corridors, the spinach-green walls—of the healthcare industry, and includes multiple features aimed at improving the experience of all users. For workers, the plan fulfills the lab’s double mandate by affording both secluded “back stage” spaces for study and dialogue, as well as exposed “front stage” spaces for monitoring and interacting with patients. Patients, in turn, can enjoy the swirling decorative schemes that run across the walls and continue onto the ceilings, ensuring that even those on gurneys and hospital beds can still enjoy the view. Double-height windows look out onto a lushly landscaped roof terrace or the city beyond—a rare connection to an outside world from which the chronically ill are so often made to feel cut off.
The design is the work of many hands, but it displays a laudable unity nonetheless, and the collaborative design process that engendered it seems only suitable to the lab’s own collaboration-focused approach to recovery and wellness.
Project: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, Chicago
Client: Shirley Ryan AbilityLab
Architect: HDR|Gensler, Omaha, Neb., and Chicago, in association with Clive Wilkinson Architects, Los Angeles . Tom Trenolone, AIA (HDR, design director); Jon Crane, FAIA (HDR, director of translational health sciences); William DeRoin, AIA (HDR, associate, project design architect); Michael McGinn (HDR, senior design architect); Karl Lust, AIA (HDR, senior project architect); Jeffrey Fahs (HDR, senior landscape architect); Jennifer Bradley (HDR, senior architectural project coordinator); Lance Thies (HDR, lead landscape architect); Clare Swanson, AIA (HDR, principal planner); Randy Niehaus (HDR, senior lighting designer and electrical engineer); Abigail Clary (HDR, vice president and director, health); Todd Eicken, AIA (HDR, project principal/manager); Steve Weindel, AIA (Gensler, managing director, office buildings leader, principal); Brian Vitale, AIA (Gensler, managing director, principal); Linda Mysliwiec, AIA (Gensler, design manager, studio director); Aleksandar Sasha Zeljic, AIA (Gensler, design director, principal); Scott Hurst (Gensler, design director); Chris Grosse, AIA (Gensler associate project architect); Nila Leiserowitz (Gensler, regional managing principal); Grant Uhlir, FAIA (Gensler, regional managing principal)
Interior Designer: HDR|Gensler in association with Clive Wilkinson Architects and EGG Studio . Tom Trenolone, AIA (HDR, design director); Krysia Lynch (HDR, senior interior designer); Kevin Augustyn, AIA (HDR, design architect); Trevor Hollins (HDR, lighting design studio lead); Anne Gibson (Gensler, design director, principal); Carlos Martínez, AIA, Lena Kitson (Gensler, principals); Lindsey Feola (Gensler, architect); Rachel Sears (Gensler, interior designer); Daniel Krause (Gensler, regional resource librarian); Clive Wilkinson, FAIA (Clive Wilkinson Architects, president and design director); Chester Nielsen, AIA (Clive Wilkinson Architects, project director); Amber Wernick (Clive Wilkinson Architects, associate, and interior designer); Humberto Arreola, Intl. Assoc. AIA (Clive Wilkinson Architects, associate and project architect); Ben Kalenik, Jesse Madrid (Clive Wilkinson Architects, project coordinators); Evan Bliss (Clive Wilkinson Architects, architectural assistant I); Christian Daniels (EGG Studio, principal); Kate Tews (EGG Studio project director); Mary Kim Harmon (EGG Studio, design director); Amy Owen (EGG Studio, environmental design director); Andrea Lee, Stephanie Wilson (EGG Studio, graphic designers)
Mechanical Engineer: Environmental Systems Design
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
Civil Engineer: V3 International
General Contractor: Power Construction
Program Manager: Arcadis
Life Safety: Jensen Hughes
Landscape Architect: HDR
Parking Garage Consultant: Desman
Vibration/Acoustical Consultant: Shen Milsom & Wilke
Size: 1.2 million square feet
Cost: $407 million (construction); $550 million (project cost)
Materials and Sources
Art Installation: Pae White (ceiling sculpture)
Carpet: JJ Invision
Ceilings: Tnemec (ceiling cladding with custom graphic, entrance); Armstrong (acoustic ceiling tile)
Concrete: Hanover Architectural Products (concrete pavers, roof and plaza)
Fabrics/Finishes: Maharam; Designtex; Knoll Textiles
Flooring: Nora (rubber);Terrazzo & Marble Supply; Johnsonite
Furniture: dTank (custom furniture); Coalesse, Davis, Vitra, Bernhardt Design (ancillary furniture); Knoll Studio (outdoor furniture); Kettal (outdoor furniture)
Glass: Pulp Studios (custom glass graphics)
Lab Casework/Fume Hood: Kewaunee
Lighting: a-light (ground-level entry); 3G Lighting (lobby, sky lobby); Kurt Versen (lens wall washers); Selux (recessed linar fluorescent, pediatric lab); Lumenpulse (recessed wall washers); Traxon (cove lights); Eureka (auditorium light fixture)
Masonry and Stone: Heath Ceramics (3D ceramic wall tile)
Millwork: Meganite (custom millwork, lobby) Corian (counters); Formica (cabinets) Wilsonart (cabinets)
Paints/Finishes: Benjamin Moore
Seating: Meganite (upholstered bench, pediatric waiting)
Wallcoverings: Novawall (acoustic wall); InPro (custom graphic wall protection)
Walls: Sky Fold (retractable wall, auditorium)
Wayfinding: Poblocki (interior signage); South Water Signs (exterior signage); Pulp Studio (custom glass graphics); PCL Graphics (printed vinyl films)
Windows/Curtainwalls/Doors: Innovative Glass Corporation (glazed lobby curtainwall); Permasteelisa Group North America (curtainwall)
The project won a 2019 AIA Institute Honor Award for Interior Architecture
A top destination for adults and children living with the most severe conditions, the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab has redefined the ways in which science and care coexist. In Chicago, this 1.2-million-square-foot facility reshapes the future of rehabilitation in its role as a translational research hospital where clinicians, scientists, and technologists work together in shared spaces to discover and apply new approaches to care in real time.
Integral concepts in the field of translational care drove every facet of the planning and design process. In the facility, research does not merely intermingle with patient care; it is fully integrated into the clinical environment and engages patients in the process. All five of the facility’s ability labs, as well as its applied research and therapeutic spaces, include highly visible space for working with patients and private space for analysis and planning.
A number of firms formed a unified design team in the development of the project’s graphics and wayfinding program. Communicating the facility’s values and mission throughout the physical space, and contributing to the healing process, the graphics create discrete environments for each lab. Together they uplift the spirit while motivating patients during their recovery and rehabilitation. Ceiling graphics, found throughout the building and its entryway and 10th-floor Sky Lobby, echo its identity.
With the overall design focused on the patient, the compelling graphics are paired with frictionless interiors, providing those with mobility challenges a more intuitive way to move. Seeking to harness nature’s power to calm and heal, the building provides direct connections to the outdoors, even in its downtown setting. Landscape architects created a series of flexible outdoor spaces that seep into the interior and encourage respite, conversations, and breakout spaces during conferences.
Carefully designed to serve as a living laboratory, the building includes an additional 250,000 square feet of expansion and soft space. Strategically placed throughout the building, it will allow programs and collaborations to evolve naturally and continuously retool the AbilityLab concept.
FROM THE ARCHITECTS:
The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab is the number one destination for adults and children with the most complex conditions, from brain and spinal cord injuries to stroke, cancer, and amputation. The 1.2M SF facility is the first-ever “translational” research hospital where clinicians, scientists, innovators, and technologists work together in shared, flexible spaces surrounding patients, discovering new approaches, and applying research in real-time.The Client’s vision was to reshape the future of rehabilitation and transform how discoveries are applied to advance human ability. The design reflects that vision inside and out.
Concepts integral to translational health drove planning and design. Research doesn’t just coexist with patient care, it’s integrated into the clinical environment and engages patients in the process. Each of the five ability labs – ‘Think + Speak’, ‘Legs + Walking’, ‘Arms + Hands’, ‘Strength + Endurance’, and ‘Pediatric’ – act as the “front stage” for patients to work with clinicians and researchers. Each lab also has a private, heads-down “back stage” for analysis and planning. Likewise, technology is embedded throughout. Clinicians and researchers measure every aspect of patients’ activities to mine data that improve outcomes and enable researchers to learn and share new insights in real-time. Every inch of the building is designed for care; every inch is designed for research.
The patient experience has multiple touch points and extends along the entire journey, from the entrance to the patient rooms. This experience is manifested through the design in many ways, from the extra wide corridors, which are curved at every corner for better sight lines and mobility, to optimized spaces that communicate wellness, such as the graphic ceilings designed for those lying on their backs. Motivational environmental graphics and wayfinding support the patient experience. The east and west corridors are punctuated by vistas to give patients and visitors a break from the rigorous therapy with every opportunity taken to offer fantastic views of Chicago and Lake Michigan.
Program Manager: Arcadis US Inc.
Lead Design Firm: HDR | Gensler
Associate Architect: Clive Wilkinson Architects
Brand Design: EGG Office
General Contractor: Power Construction
Structural Engineer: Thornton Tomasetti
M/E/P Engineer: Environmental Systems Design
Civil Engineer: V3 International
Parking Consultants: Desman Associates
Fire/Life Safety Consultants: Jensen Hughes
Vertical Transportation Consultants: Lerch Bates
Façade and Curtainwall Consultants: Permasteelisa
Acoustical Consultants: Shiner + Associates
Audio-Visual and Cabling Consultants: V-Xion Network Design