View from Highway

Rush University Campus Transformation Project

Chicago, Illinois
Patient Advocates

Outdated facilities on aging grounds hampered Rush’s ability to capitalize on the latest technology. Administrators envisioned a state-of-the-art campus oriented around the comfort of patients.

To achieve this, we proposed that the hospital be built in an iconic butterfly shape. By placing caregivers at the center of the structure and patients throughout the wings, the building naturally promotes less stress for nurses and faster care for patients. The design also supports the latest “interventional platform” system of care, which integrates procedure rooms, check-in space, private prep rooms, operating rooms, and private recovery rooms in the same area. The end result? Greater collaboration among physicians and the potential for fewer surgeries and days in the hospital for patients.

What Makes it Cool
The hospital’s unique butterfly shape is the direct result of “inside-out” design.
Design Excellence

Close collaboration with doctors, nurses, and administrators culminated in the creation of full-scale mock-ups which allowed hospital staff to walk corridors and rooms at scale. These exercises accomplish life-saving goals.

Aesthetically, the hospital’s design forms an iconic and uplifting presence on the campus and nearby expressway. Functionally, the shape shortens distances between patients and nurses which reduces staff stress and provides extra peace of mind to patients.

Butterfly Shape
Patient Room
Patient Rooms

Designed for healing, each patient room is private and contains distinct zones for patient, family, and caregiver. Additionally, acute and critical care rooms have generous east-facing views of the Chicago skyline and hallways are outfitted with carpet to reduce noise.

Throughout the building, floor-to-ceiling windows allow for ample daylighting in corridors where surgeons can enjoy exposure to natural light and panoramic city views after a long procedure.

Medical Campus
A comprehensive transformation of a medical campus on the west side of Chicago.

Project Team

Ralph Johnson
Bridget Lesniak
Mark Walsh
Jerry Johnson