The Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, which ranks among the top ten business schools in the country, recently completed construction on their new 415,000 sq ft building. The striking five story lakefront project contains classrooms, flexible learning environments, food service areas, and offices in four wings connected by a massive multistory atrium. Northwestern University was committed to minimizing their impact on the surrounding environment and the building was designed to achieve LEED Gold Certification, so the architects used raised access floor to promote accessibility and reconfigurability, increase daylighting opportunities from the expansive glass exterior, and provide the perfect solution to managing the changing educational and social needs of the students and faculty. Raised access floor also meant that Underfloor Service Distribution (UFSD) could be incorporated, enabling all power and data cables to be run below the floor with prefabricated modular plug-and-play hubs for ease of access and lowered first cost and construction time. Northwestern University also incorporated Underfloor Air Distribution (UFAD) to maximize energy efficiency and increase the indoor air quality and comfort for the over 1,800 students, faculty, and staff in the Kellogg School of Management.
“This building represents everything that Kellogg stands for – an ethos of collaboration, grounded wisdom and pioneering vision,” said Sally Blount, dean of the Kellogg School of Management. “It speaks to our ability to create an environment – physical, emotional, cultural – that can attract, shape and catalyze an unparalleled global community of courageous and collaborative leaders.”
Toronto based architectural firm KPMB designed a beautiful and engaging multi-piece porcelain aesthetic inspired primarily by nearby Lake Michigan and the “action of the water and the waves, and how they round off materials and forms to make them smooth,” explains Bruce Kuwabara, a partner at the firm. They then worked closely with Tate’s team of design engineers to develop a lamination process which would allow the desired design to be captured, while minimizing grid visibility and maintaining the access, flexibility, and reconfigurability the client needed.