Nearly four months after our last Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC) update, we were back in attendance at the latest community meeting, where officials were on hand to discuss revised plans for the new facility. RIC has worked collaboratively with SOAR and Ald. Brendan Reilly to make a host of changes to the project. Responding to criticism that the building is too broad, architects HDR and Gensler have redesigned the facade to lend the 480-foot tall tower a greater sense of verticality. The long horizontal bands of glass in the central portion of the facade have been replaced with vertically-oriented glass that seamlessly connects to the parking podium. Also gone is the distressing wall of precast concrete, now covered over with sleek blue glass for a more cohesive look.
Additional improvements have been undertaken to enhance the pedestrian experience. The entire structure has been shifted four feet to the west, increasing the sidewalk width along McClurg to about 17' 6". Sidewalk widths along Erie and Ontario streets have also been expanded to 45 feet and 15' 6", respectively. Landscaping, including shrubs and perennials, is also in the works, along with outdoor seating and a pocket park on McClurg and Ontario. The parking component has been reduced by 100 spots to a total of 750 spaces. And loading will take place internally during the nighttime hours. When complete, the ambitious $523M facility will be the only one of its kind in the world. If everything shakes out as planned, RIC could move into its new digs sometime in 2016.
·Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago Details Plans for New Facility [Curbed Chicago]
·Brand Spankin' New Views of RIC's Planned Medical Building [Curbed Chicago]