Arlington Heights, Illinois
Architect: Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction, Inc.
Owner: Lutheran Life Communities
Contractor: Walsh Construction Company
The $51.6 million repositioning of Lutheran Home began with the addition of MyRehab Center—an 81,000 sq. ft., rehabilitation center/transitional care center—to its skilled nursing facility, Olson Pavilion. Designed to provide first-class therapy and rehabilitation services, MyRehab Center is an excellent example of how healthcare environments are changing to be more contemporary and welcoming. With an abundance of windows, the 78-unit facility offers a significant amount of natural light throughout—specifically in the lobby and therapy gym. All 26 resident rooms per floor offer the comforts of home, while a few select suites include a spacious living area complete with chairs, wardrobe, and sleeper/sofa so family can easily stay overnight to give support. Common areas, such as the dining and living rooms, provide more accessible and warm home-like spaces. A state-of-the-art therapy gym—which includes a mock apartment for practicing independent tasks done at home—is a key feature of MyRehab Center.
A primary design goal for MyRehab Center was to continue the residential architectural features of the campus while complimenting the institutional character of the adjoining Olson Pavilion. This was accomplished by introducing a modern healthcare attribute to bridge the two design styles together. In addition, with MyRehab Center designed to appeal to short-term clients (many possibly younger in age) instead of the typical, older long-term resident, the project encompasses a more transitional and contemporary design.
Although connected to Olson Pavilion, MyRehab Center has its own parking area and upscale lobby that contains smaller, cozy meeting spaces for patients and visitors and offers a retreat-like hospitality entrance to the community with is stone and flooring materials. A gateway to Olson Pavilion, the lobby’s exterior and interior are blended through the use of an impressive curtain wall system. The facility includes a secondary entrance that provides a discreet and private access point for receiving admissions and other emergency and medical personnel.
Another significant design feature of the project was the ability to not only blend into the existing campus, but the surrounding neighborhood as well. The facilities on the Lutheran Home campus already contain a mix of residential to institutional design styles, which makes for a unique setting. Since MyRehab Center would be squarely located in a residential area, many residents expressed concern prior to the start of the project about the appearance of the finished facility and its ability to blend into the neighborhood. Others worried about the possibility of the facility having a negative effect on the value of their homes.
Much effort was spent examining the entire campus setting, from its facilities features to the surroundings neighborhood. Elements studied included setbacks, landscaping, material selections, and architectural style. A critical component of the design of MyRehab Center was specifying the use of residential windows and other non-institutional looking features, such as mansard asphalt, shingle roofs, dormers, downspouts, and brick. Upon completion of the design, resident concerns were put to rest.