Acclaimed as a marvel in modern architecture, Northwestern University’s Global Hub is home to the Kellogg School of Management and some of the greatest business minds of today.
The five-story, 415,000 square foot building is perched along the shores of Lake Michigan, with views of Chicago’s skyline. It was designed by the Toronto-based architectural firm KPMB to be a catalyst for creative and collaborative thinking. The design features a variety of learning and networking spaces, including a central atrium, a two-story auditorium, classrooms, a conference center and a multitude of places to gather.
Materials and elements were researched and sourced globally to bring the design to life—aluminum from Belgium, glass from South America, lights from China, and Advanced Glazings Ltd.’s translucent glazing, Solera® from Canada, to name a few.
Graham Baxter, Architect with KPMB, explains: “With so many unique materials, it was a challenge to fit everything together to create the curved exteriors and interiors. This took a lot of technical skills and out-of-the-box thinking, as well as a number of very talented suppliers and trades people to execute this vision.”
Solera’s pallet of options for glass, insulation value and light diffusion “made it easy for us to choose the right product to meet our technical and sustainable demands of the project, while still creating the most comfortable learning environment for the building occupants.”
“After testing a number of different veils, illumination and thermal performance options, and consulting with a lighting expert, Solera® made sense for this project for many reasons. Most importantly, it allowed us to diffuse the ample natural light, creating a soft glow throughout the building. The insulating value is also important, which contributes to the buildings platinum Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification,” says Baxter.
When looking at the building in its entirety, the curved exterior resembles a series of stacked ribbons, all of different materials. Each layer plays a distinctive role in creating such an inspiring interior. The top ribbon features Advanced Glazings Ltd.’s translucent glazing, Solera® creating a striking combination of color contrast.
As its name suggests, the stunning design of the Global Hub helps the Kellogg School of Management attract students, faculty and administrators from around the world, which is increasingly important in a globally competitive market.
Dean Blount notes on their website: “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.”
Photo credits: Ventana Design-Build Systems, Kellogg School of Management Building | AnnYelleParis #annyelleparis