Northwestern Memorial Hospital

Chicago, Illinois

Outpatient Imaging Center


  • Their mission.“Putting Patients First” was the challenge extended to the design team. Transform a traditionally daunting encounter into one that fosters comfort and confidence. The response was a facility that successfully addressed patient needs in a supportive space which was also designed for a high degree of staff satisfaction.


  • The design for the Imaging Center holistically addresses the entire patient experience by turning a traditionally daunting encounter into one that is non-intimidating and patient-friendly.
  • Custom backlit nature photography, programmable color-changing LED lighting, and music are some of the positive distractions designed into the imaging rooms to reduce anxiety for patients during their diagnostic examination.
  • Patient comfort and satisfaction were the key drivers established at the beginning of the project; the entire design team worked collaboratively to ensure these goals were met.
  • Earth-toned colors and calming nature-inspired artwork are used consistently to reduce stress and create a timeless environment.
  • Visual cues through color, texture, and form are incorporated in the floors, walls, ceilings, and lighting to provide intuitive wayfinding, spatial hierarchy, and interest.
  • The center incorporates positive distractions in order to reduce patient stress-levels, maintain patient privacy and dignity, and give patients a level of choice and control over their environment.
  • The space is psychologically supportive for patients and families by maximizing daylight and views and creating a warm, inviting interior that makes people feel comfortable and confident.
  • Every space in the facility was designed with the patient’s experience in mind.
  • Design continuity is intentionally maintained throughout all public, patient and staff areas; there is no “back of house.”

people involved in this project:

Christopher E. Sachse

Architecture + Design