NorthShore University HealthSystems “shops” at Plaza del Lago | Interwork Architects

NorthShore University HealthSystems “shops” at Plaza del Lago


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Accepting NorthShore’s challenge, program managers Integrated Facilities Solutions and Interwork inserted a modern medical office suite into a historic, long- established retail environment. Plaza del Lago in Wilmette, among the oldest shopping centers in the US, has been a destination for north shore patrons since opening as ‘Spanish Court’ in 1928. The former two story Crate & Barrel required the second floor to be separated from the retail first level and a new entry stair and elevator were created to provide access to the second floor medical offices.

The second story was added by Crate & Barrel in the 1980s carefully maintaining the original brick and terracotta roofed buildings’ character. While the soaring ceilings and open plan were well suited to retailing they created issues when planning medical offices.

The existing vaulted roof couldn’t handle the weight of building systems (sprinkler piping, HVAC ductwork, light fixtures, etc.) that typically are suspended from above. The team designed a secondary structural platform to support these necessary systems from the floor. In order to maintain schedule for the first floor retailer, plumbing was fast tracked to get it in above the ceiling and speed opening of the first floor retail space.

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Working with project managers at Berglund Construction and Integrated Facilities Solutions, Interwork put NorthShore standards in place creating a 10,000 square foot suite for the pediatrics and obstetrics/gynecology practices relocating to their new lakefront location. And in keeping with Plaza del Lago’s 1920s setting, when they opened in June 2013, NorthShore’s doctors could be found right upstairs from the drugstore.

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