Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Takes Gold in Modern Healthcare Design Awards

Recognized for its translational concepts, patient-centered focus and bold interiors, the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, has won the Gold Award in the 32nd annual Modern Healthcare Design Awards.

The 1.2 million-square-foot AbilityLab was designed by HDR, in partnership with Gensler and in association with Clive Wilkinson Architects and EGG Office, as the first ever translational research hospital in which clinicians, scientists, innovators and technologists work together in the same space to surround patients with support, discover new approaches and apply research in real time.

HDR’s core responsibility was the design and programming of healthcare and research environments and all translational planning concepts.

The translational space is divided into five, focused ability labs: Think + Speak Lab, Legs + Walking Lab, Arms + Hands Lab, Strength + Endurance Lab, and Pediatric Lab. All labs provide for both active and visible “front stage” patient work with clinicians and researchers, and private, heads-down “back stage” space for analysis and planning.

“AbilityLab is a look into the future of healthcare delivery. For too long clinical care and research have been segregated, hindering collaboration,” said Jon Crane, senior vice president and director of translational health sciences at HDR, and recipient of the 2017 HCD 10 award in the Architect category. “Integrating clinical care and research environments using translational concepts can create interaction and accelerate discovery by removing the barriers to knowledge exchange, meaning more rapid advancement in treatment and technology for patients.”

The future of medicine is the integration and collaboration of disciplines. The Shirley Ryan AbilityLab exemplifies this concept through a patient-centered approach that strives for innovation in treatment possibilities.

About HDR's Healthcare Experience

At HDR, we blend our deep knowledge of healthcare delivery with our understanding of how environments can shape behaviors and outcomes to create solutions for clients that respect the human impact of their work — solutions that champion human-centered design, solve real problems, make lives better and advance wellness, well-being, healing and cures.

About HDR

For more than a century, HDR has partnered with clients to shape communities and push the boundaries of what’s possible. Our expertise spans 10,000 employees, in more than 225 locations around the world — and counting. Our engineering, architecture, environmental and construction services bring an impressive breadth of knowledge to every project. Our optimistic approach to finding innovative solutions defined our past and drives our future.