Located in one of the most vibrant yet blighted neighborhoods in Southwest Chicago, HDR Architecture's proposal for the Focal Point Community Campus represents how hospitals can no longer be hermitically sealed from their surroundings; rather, they must embrace the communities in which they reside. Offering a supreme opportunity for this type of change, their concept follows a breakthrough model, which will make it a financially self-sustaining community campus. The vision for the project was developed by Chicago's Saint Anthony Hospital and will be brought to life under The Chicago Southwest Development Corporation, the not-for-profit organization established to develop and maintain the Focal Point property. More images and architects' description after the break.
Gone are the days of the monolithic hospital complex, looming above its neighbors. In addition to housing the St. Anthony new hospital, the campus will bring thousands of jobs and a range of retail, wellness, education, arts and recreation elements to enrich the lives of the more than 400,000 residents in the North & South Lawndale, Little Village, Pilsen, Back of the Yards, Bridgeport & Austin Neighborhoods.
Acting as both an anchor and a change agent, the hospital is envisioned as an urban campus that fosters a relationship between the hospital and its community. The two are intrinsically linked by a “circulatory system” – a band of food and retail markets, fitness centers and community services that runs along the second floor of the building. This system serves as the interface between the world of healthcare and the world beyond, and it literally brings the two together—a new paradigm in the industry. Furthermore, the building treads lightly on the site. Its ground floor is wrapped with glass and its grounds are replete with wellness gardens, soccer fields, and basketball courts.
Through the campus model, rental income from revenue-generating tenants—such as retail stores and schools, hospitality and day care, a parking garage, an outpatient clinic and Saint Anthony Hospital, which will relocate to serve as a tenant of the campus—will be reinvested into programs and services provided through the campus, such as continuing education and wellness classes, a center for creativity and a park and recreation center.
Beyond being designed to provide the balance necessary to keep the model financially sound, each aspect of the campus was custom-selected based on research by Saint Anthony Hospital and HDR on the needs of the community. The new campus will transform the almost 11-acre vacant lot into an active complex offering a variety of services housed within a nearly 1 million square-foot complex, including three main buildings and an approximately 1,200 space parking garage.
Earlier this year, the City of Chicago approved the transfer of the land to Saint Anthony Hospital for $1.00. Fundraising for the project is currently underway.