Lake Forest Hospital is revitalizing the future of medicine and tranquility in the region

Lake Forest, IL, USA

Northwestern Medicine is internationally recognized for providing innovative medical advancements and exceptional patient care within a premier academic health system. With the region’s growing need for access to high-quality healthcare, the new Lake Forest Hospital is part of a 160-acre campus revitalization plan that replaces the main patient-care building with a state-of-the-art inpatient hospital and a medical office building thirty miles north of Chicago.

400 foot-long
waterfall wall

Embracing the community and landscape

The height of the new Lake Forest Hospital complex is kept intentionally low to maintain a scale sensitive to the predominately residential neighborhood and reflect the Prairie-style architectural roots of the region. A serene reflecting pond surrounded by a series of pavilions arranged in a crescent shape doubles as a reflecting pool and stormwater basin. Patients and guests can enjoy the outdoors and tranquil pond by walking the adjacent boardwalk with spacious decks and seating areas. Rooms for patients are distributed among three pavilions to the south of the main entry and the medical offices are housed in two pavilions to the north.

“We are honored to provide the community with a leading destination for health and wellness, while offering cutting-edge technology in a comfortable, beautiful and healing environment.”
– Thomas J. McAfee, President of Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital
Upon arrival, patients and guests are greeted by a welcoming, light-filled glass rotunda with calming outside views of the reflecting pond.
patient beds
A centrally located monumental staircase connects to the cafeteria on the lower level. A vast oval opening in the glass rotunda floats above the cafeteria, bringing natural light to the lower interior floor. 
Sustainability requires a holistic approach that factors in materials, landscape, and climate.

Empowering mission-driven healthcare in an evolving world 

Lake Forest Hospital is a respected and collaborative community partner, delivering expanded, world-class medicine with distinguished clinical programs and physicians. As healthcare continues to become more innovative, accessible, and inclusive, this new campus centered on high-quality medicine will improve the health of the community and achieve Northwestern Medicine’s mission: Patients First.  

More About the Project

Principal Collaborators

  • Architect of Record: Gensler
  • Structural Engineer: C. E. Anderson & Associates, P.C.
  • MEP: Environmental Systems Design

Project Information

  • Location: Lake Forest, Illinois, USA
  • Client: Northwestern Memorial Health Care
  • Size: 490,000 sq. ft. / 45,522 sq. m.
  • Completion: 2018
  • Certification: LEED Silver
  • Firm Role: Design Architect
  • Principal Project Photography: Jeff Goldberg/ESTO