Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, Illinois. Courtesy Steinkamp Photography.

Rush University Medical Center Transformation Program



Rush University Medical Center’s transformation program invests new technologies and buildings to improve patient care, while also reorganizing the entire Rush campus.

Thornton Tomasetti was the structural engineer for the multiyear redevelopment plan, providing structural design for an award-winning 845,000-square-foot, 14-story hospital addition; an entry pavilion that connects to the existing hospital; and the renovation of the existing hospital. The project included the design and construction of a new loading dock, utility tunnels, a pedestrian bridge, a central utility plant and a medical office building.

The new hospital addition utilizes a steel-frame system with steel columns and composite steel beams. The lateral system is composed of reinforced concrete shearwalls. The addition’s foundations are belled and straight shaft caissons. The addition incorporates an interventional platform concept that devotes three floors to surgery, imaging and specialty procedures and allows multiple specialists to collaborate and treat patients using state-of-the-art technologies.

The entry pavilion serves as the main entrance to both the new addition and the existing hospital. The pavilion boasts a three-story-high lobby area with an open-air terrarium that extends 40 feet to a rooftop garden. Natural daylighting filters into the space through two skylights. Pedestrian bridges running through the pavilion improve patient conveyance and circulation by providing a direct route from the patient floors to specialists located in the new hospital.

The new hospital building is the largest new construction healthcare project in the world to be LEED Gold.

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