Kellogg School of Management’s new Global Hub opens at Northwestern University

Photo: Tom Arban
Photo: Tom Arban

The Kellogg School of Management‘s new Global Hub has officially opened at Northwestern University. The Hub not only serves as Kellogg’s new home, but is hailed as one of the first business school buildings to address the needs of 21st century students, helping the school educate, equip and inspire leaders who build strong organizations and wisely leverage the power of markets.

Designed by KPMB Architects, the 103-foot-high, 410,000-square-foot building contains flexible classrooms and common spaces, and can accommodate any teaching style or requirement. Office layout and locations promote cross-functional connection and collaboration, while its emphasis on green technology and energy conservation ensures the building’s long-term sustainability and efficiency. “We designed a building that’s adaptable so that as technology and programs change in the future, the building can adapt with those needs,” said Leann Paul, Kellogg’s lead project manager for the building.

“The objective was to more deeply understand how to translate between where students are today at Kellogg and where they might be going in terms of innovative thinking in the future,” adds Marianne McKenna, partner-in-charge with KPMB Architects.

Photo: Tom Arban
Photo: Tom Arban

The complex is comprised of four separate buildings linked by a central atrium, allowing for what Bruce Kuwabara, founding partner of KPMB Architects, calls “connected neighbourhoods of academic teaching and research.”

“This building is going to send a big message about the future of education, especially within management institutions,” Kuwabara said. “You don’t want to be just another business school; you want to set the standard, and that’s what Kellogg has done.”

Photo: Tom Arban
Photo: Tom Arban

The Global Hub offers many capabilities and amenities, the most unique being the flexibility of its classrooms and communal spaces. Each classroom can become flat, tiered, divided or expanded to meet the varied goals of faculty year after year. A 6,000-square-foot atrium can double as a central meeting point or a location for conferences and events.

Additionally, the White Auditorium will be a signature space for both Kellogg and Northwestern. The two-story venue — with panoramic views of Lake Michigan to the north and east and the Chicago skyline to the south — can convert from a tiered 350-seat auditorium to an event space that can seat 250 for large dinners. Additional amenities include a fitness centre, a food court, a coffee bar, several lounges, and stairs in the style of the Spanish Steps that connect the first three floors, giving students faculty and staff an open space to convene.

The Global Hub is also one of the most eco-friendly facilities on campus, on track for LEED Gold Certification thanks to a geothermal field for heating and cooling needs, triple-glazed exterior windows for more efficient heating and cooling, automated window shades for sun and shade control, low flow plumbing fixtures to conserve water, and a ground water reservoir for landscape irrigation.

Gordon Segal ’60, chair of the educational properties committee for Northwestern’s Board of Trustees, a Kellogg graduate and co-founder of Crate & Barrel, played a leading role in the design and development of the building.

“The Global Hub epitomizes the legacy, spirit, ambition and vision of Kellogg,” said Segal. “This is truly a global hub as it blends design elements from 17 countries – from German ceilings to Japanese tiles – and will help Kellogg continue to attract the best students, faculty and administration from around the world.”

“The generosity of many alumni and friends brought the Global Hub to life,” adds Sally Blount, dean of the Kellogg School of Management. “This building represents everything that Kellogg stands for – an ethos of collaboration, grounded wisdom and pioneering vision.”

“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.”