Advocate Aurora Illinois Masonic Medical Center - Physical Therapy & Sports Health Center and Parking Structure
As the Advocate Aurora Illinois Masonic Medical Center continues to grow, it looked to consolidate and relocate its physical therapy, occupational therapy and sports medicine programs into a space that would give it more visibility to the neighborhood’s large potential outpatient population. The programs share space in a new facility that also accommodates four levels of parking for the campus. The large, block-long building needed to respond to two urban environments: a residential/commercial district immediately to the west and an elevated commuter rail line (and the rest of the medical campus) to the east.
The building capitalizes on the site’s prominent location on a busy corner adjacent to a Chicago Transit Authority train station. Its lively composition of materials and rhythmic design speaks to the area’s vibrant demographic and reflects the activity within. The ground floor houses the Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy and Sports Health Center, with floor-to-ceiling glass at the perimeter that energizes the view from the outside in and inside out. An industrial, loft-like interior filled with cutting-edge training equipment is designed to feel more like a workout environment than clinical therapy space. A continuous wall of art spans 16 prefabricated exam room pods, bringing motion to the building interior.
To complement the mixed-use residential and commercial neighborhood, the west facade is designed to a more human scale, with panels of brick and glass. Even with four levels of parking above, the building height was carefully gauged to retain views from neighboring rooftop decks.
The opposite side of the building faces the elevated train tracks. Here contemporary architecture becomes public art for the audience traveling by on the trains. A wall of louvered aluminum fins that vary in orientation gives an illusion of movement when viewed from the train, while providing daylight and visibility to those using the parking deck. On the building’s south side, rainbow hues adorn the aluminum panels, a nod to the LGBTQ+ community and Advocate’s legacy as a pioneering medical center in HIV/AIDS patient care.