The University of Chicago Medicine Center for Care and Discovery in Chicago, Illinois. Courtesy Rafael Viñoly Architects (left) and © Tom Roossiter (right).

The University of Chicago Medicine Center for Care and Discovery



Thornton Tomasetti provided structural engineering and connection design services for an award-winning, 1.2-million-square-foot, 10-story hospital pavilion with two levels of mechanical penthouse. The pavilion is adjacent to current university hospital facilities and is devoted to complex specialty care, with a focus on cancer and advanced surgical programs. The project increases the hospitals’ total clinical capacity by more than one-third.

The building is designed for future flexibility. The project’s innovative building approach is based on a grid system that can be reconfigured for a wide range of purposes, from in-patient beds to surgical rooms, without changing the basic frame of the building.

Challenges Thornton Tomasetti encountered included the incorporation of elements to meet vibration criteria for MRI units and CT scanners on elevated floors. Thornton Tomasetti worked closely with the design team and vibration consultant to purposefully stiffen areas of sensitivity to support the equipment requirements and to limit undesired vibrations.

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