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Kellogg School of Management Competition

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Kellogg School of Management Competition Entry

The new home for Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management will reinforce and advance the school’s position as a global leader, a true international center and a place that inspires and cultivates the business leaders of tomorrow.

Kellogg is known worldwide as a leader within business and academic communities, and a pioneer of collaborative learning. Kellogg’s new global hub will reflect its leadership within these fields in every way: from stunning architecture to innovative integrations of technology to spaces that allow for new kinds of interaction.

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture’s design takes full advantage of the building site, embracing an organic form and addressing every aspect of its surroundings: from the campus, to the lakefront and lagoon, to adjacent buildings and a site for future expansion. The result is an iconic, permeable space that will encourage discourse, allow for flexible teaching configurations and create a new public square for the entire community.

The challenge of the project from a programmatic and site standpoint is to maintain compression and collaborative space while increasing exterior perimeter to foster views and to admit natural light. From an efficiency standpoint, the central square diagram is good both in plan and in section. It is modular, it is flexible, it is accessible.
The new building will be accessible from multiple avenues to create a true collaborative gathering space. At the site, five major points of access become “five points of transparency,” at the lakefront, the lagoon, the adjacent buildings, the historic campus and the future campus. By responding to all five of these points, the new building allows for flexibility and identity without jeopardizing cost or functionality.

The collaborative spirit and the sharing of ideas across disciplines and international borders results in a fluid and open approach to dialogue that matters. The form and nature of the building supports this ideology, representing a new paradigm in business education: breaking away from the box, and boundaries that confine thought. The open views, visual connections and central public square support this ideology in every way, allowing for intellectual face-to-face discourse and meaningful discussions and learning experiences.

The grand atrium space at the building’s center serves as a kind of “town square,” a marketplace for the exchange of ideas and collaboration between all members of the international school community. In addition to providing a series of strong visual connections to lakefront, lagoon, campus and adjacent buildings, the atrium is also a common space that is democratic and non-hierarchical and a place for cross-pollination across the community.


Northwestern University


The Chicago Athenaeum, Green Good Design Award, Green Architecture, Kellogg School of Management Competition Design