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BIG CHILDREN'S

Chicago

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BIG CHILDREN'S
Bruce Komiske and Martin Wolfe
The new $915M Children's Memorial Hospital Campus will be thetallest children's hospital in the world when it opens on June 9, 2012. It'll also be one of the most colorful buildings in the city, says its chief of design and construction Bruce Komiske. At right is Martin Wolf of Solomon Cordwell Buenz, the project designer. The two spoke at the Chicago Architecture Foundation yesterday. The building is on a Z-shaped site, which requires two different-shaped blocks to be stacked on top of each other. It's sandwiched between the ADA Building and the Prentice Women's Hospital in Streeterville.
New Children's Memorial Hospital
The design charette for the building, which is being built by a JV ofMortenson and Power Construction, included many of the city's non-profits and museums, each of which will have a floor themed with its branding. (We suppose it justifies kids on the Lincoln Park Zoo floor acting like monkeys.) Martin also incorporated donations from the institutions—like a giant model mother and calf whale from the Shedd Aquarium and a life-size fire truck cab from the fire station—into the design. An enclosed healing garden on the 11th floor will include a treehouse. And each night one child will get to design a pattern for the display of LED lights on the north side of the building facing the Museum of Contemporary Art. Bonus: the museum will take a picture for the child to keep.