29 nov 10  | Curbed Chicago

Futuristic Health & Medical Museum Planned for the Loop

by Mark Boyer

Here's a proposed development that's guaranteed to add a bit of excitement to the Washington Street streetscape in the Loop. The D.C.-based National Museum of Health and Medicine is planning to open a new satellite location in Chicago, and they're targeting the (now-closed) Rock Records building at 175 W. Washington St. The 1933 three-story building would undergo "a dramatic, cutting-edge transformation led by Chicago-based design firm Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture," according to a NMHMC brochure. ASGG's plan for the building calls for some high-tech green features, including a heel-strike system that would harvest the force produced by foot traffic.

"As visitors engage with interactive exhibits throughout the museum, they will be able to individually generate energy that will power the building—mirroring the activities of nutrients within the human body."
Neato. As it's described in the brochure, every surface of the building will be able to broadcast audio and video material, and the building will feature a 300-seat auditorium with video projections on the walls, ceiling and floor.
"The Washington Street façade, which will be visible through the translucent wrapper, will be refreshed by replacing missing portions and extending around to the east side, which is not currently exposed to public view."
The Buonacorsi Foundation, which runs the museum, is currently raising funds for the museum, and they hope to complete construction by the end of 2014.