Submitted by: Worn Jerabek Wiltse Architects P.C. (Chicago)

St. Clara’s Rehab and Senior Care (Lincoln, Ill.) is a new-construction, replacement building for an existing 1960’s skilled nursing facility. Rather than rehabbing their outdated existing building, the mission-driven not-for-profit client made the decision to build a completely new facility that would support their goal of transitioning from a medical care model to a resident-centered care model similar to LegacyHealing Facility. Before starting the design process, the design team led the client team through a series of charrettes and programming discussions to establish project goals and priorities, and to develop a list of features to include in the new building. The final design is based on a household model with decentralized service and social areas, and features strong connections to the outdoor environment.

The building is comprised of two main programs: long-term stay skilled nursing care and short-term stay rehab services. It is designed to reflect these two different yet complementary programs, with each having its own dedicated entry, resident common areas, and outdoor amenities. The two programs are linked together in the center of the building by shared resident common areas, staff service zones, and a state-of-the-art physical therapy suite. The building has a total of 106 licensed beds, of which the vast majority are single occupancy rooms with their own full bathroom.

Each resident household includes lounge and activity areas for individual and group recreation. Each household also has access to an exterior landscaped courtyard which includes walking paths, seating, and opportunities for gardening.

One of the primary goals for this project was to deinstitutionalize the care environment, instead providing a home-like setting for long-term care residents and a hospitality-inspired setting for residents receiving rehab services. Another major project goal was to highlight a connection to nature through the inclusion of daylight, views, and access to outdoor spaces, and incorporation of natural materials throughout the building. In response to this goal, the design features several high-volume spaces with clerestory and dormer windows to pull light deep into the interior, natural materials such as wood, stone, and living plant walls to bring the outdoors inside, and a plan that is designed around five exterior courtyards. Each of these courtyards has its own identity, and interior resident common areas are situated to have full views into the courtyards for enjoyment all year round.

Project Category: New construction

Chief Administrator: Gail McGinnis

Firm: Worn Jerabek Wiltse Architects P.C., www.wjwarchitecture.com

Design Team: Worn Jerabek Wiltse Architects P.C. (architect); K2N Crest P.C. (structural engineer); Gage Consulting Engineers Inc. (MEP/FP engineer); Laflin Design Group Ltd. (landscape architect); Direct Supply Aptura (interior designer)

Number/type of housing units: 106 skilled nursing

Total building area (sq. ft.): 73,507

Construction cost/sq. ft.: $224

Total construction cost (excluding land): $16.5 million

Completed: January 2018