By Cynthia Castronovo
Even though I have a great view of the north side of the new Rush hospital building from my office in the Triangle Office Building, I regularly review construction reports and walk the campus to see what other things are happening around the East Tower.
During a recent visit to the Orthopedic Building, I was excited to see a number of changes taking place on the south side of the East Tower, including two significant milestones — one functional and one aesthetic.
First, the walkways that connect the Atrium Building to the East Tower are now fully enclosed and really give you a sense of how these two facilities will function together.
These include an “on stage” walkway located on the south side of the East Tower that will be used by our patients and visitors, and a tiered set of walkways on the north side, which will be used by staff and patients. These “off stage” walkways connect corresponding floors on the third, fourth, fifth, seventh and eighth floors of the two buildings. All six of these walkways include glass and façade work that complements the rest of the new hospital’s base or podium.
At the same time, workers are starting to install the final layer of material over the iconic green louver wall on the ninth floor of the East Tower, which is home to the building’s mechanical systems. Known as kalzip, this final ventilation system will enable us to take fresh air into the space and remove exhaust air from it, while simultaneously adding an artistic component to the look of the ninth floor.
The introduction of this green element of the new building was a deliberate design move, accentuating the transition between the lower floors of the podium and the butterfly-shaped patient tower. This is one of many interesting design elements incorporated into the East Tower. As construction continues, I will try to share more of these with you.