How Rush's iconic building became part of a video game

With its butterfly shape that appears to hang over a Chicago expressway, Rush University Medical Center is one of the more unique-looking hospitals in the U.S. And video game developers have taken notice.

The 14-story hospital serves as the model for the "medical university building" in the new Cities: Skylines II, which was released Oct. 24. Players build their own simulated cities, a la the class video game SimCity.

"Rush was not involved in creating this game but appreciates that game designers searching for iconic, identifiable and, especially, necessary buildings when a city is being planned included Rush University Medical Center," a Rush University System for Health spokesperson told Becker's.

Rush University Medical Center wasn't just designed that way to look cool. The $654 million, 830,000-square-foot hospital opened in 2012 complete with a lobby that could be transformed into an emergency response area, which came in handy during the pandemic. The top five levels, which resemble a four-pointed star, house patients in identical rooms to increase efficiency and that let in lots of natural light.

"Having had my life saved in this building by doctors treating the cancer I had, I'm literally moved to see the new version of my favorite game is honoring it," one player wrote Oct. 25 on X (formerly Twitter).

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