Northwestern Mutual today unveiled the design of its new 32-story high-rise office tower and common space in downtown Milwaukee. The 1.1 million gross-square-foot project is expected to be completed in 2017.


The new Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons will invigorate urban life and serve as a beacon for Northwestern Mutual at this prime location on Lake Michigan. Designed by New Haven, CT-based Pickard Chilton, the Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons is an elegant, 32-story glass office Tower and a two-block long Commons that is meaningfully integrated with the company’s grand, historic 1914 headquarters.


In addition to implementing best practices in office design with near column-free flexible office space, underfloor air and floor-to-ceiling glass, the expansion to the downtown campus will feature meeting areas, training facilities, dining, and public spaces overlooking the newly enhanced three-acre Northwestern Mutual Gardens.


Hines, the international real estate firm, is the development manager for the high-performance, urban corporate campus that will provide Northwestern Mutual employees with an inspiring, daylight-filled and highly flexible work environment. The project will offer greater comfort, efficiency and productivity and has been designed to achieve USGBC LEED®–NC certification.


Positioned at the eastern end of the campus, the Tower’s form curves gently to the south embracing the Gardens and maximizing panoramic views to the lake. The Tower culminates in a crisp prow, marking the new building’s dynamic position at the city edge looking out over Lake Michigan and its numerous parks.


At street level, the Northwestern Mutual visitor center will tell the story of Northwestern Mutual’s past, present and future. An adjacent café will serve visitors. The historic headquarters will be integrated with the new Commons through a new six-story, skylit atrium nestled between the wings of the original building.


The Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons is scheduled to begin construction in 2014. “From the start, Northwestern Mutual’s leadership sought to build an expansion that would be representative of their corporate ethos of doing the right thing” said Jon Pickard, FAIA, principal of Pickard Chilton.


“To us, that meant designing a building of enduring beauty and value that respectfully balances the expectations of policy owners with the desire for a state-of-the-art workplace, while making significant contributions to its campus and Milwaukee’s urban vitality. I believe our design successfully achieves these goals.”



Location: Milwaukee, USA

Architect: Pickard Chilton

Architect of Record: Kendall/Heaton Associates

Development  Manager: Hines

Size: 1,1 Million sf

Status: Design Development