Press Release
Press Release

Northwestern Mutual Announces Design Team for Downtown Milwaukee Office Tower

Pickard Chilton selected as design architect for addition to Milwaukee skyline

By - Feb 8th, 2013 09:39 am

MILWAUKEE (Feb. 8, 2013) Northwestern Mutual today announced the design team that will create its new high-rise office tower in downtown Milwaukee. It has selected Kendall/Heaton Associates, Inc. as the architect of record, Pickard Chilton as the design architect, and Valerio Dewalt Train Associates as the interior architect for the project. They will join Hines, a real estate development firm, which has been serving as the development manager.

According to Tim Gerend, a vice president at Northwestern Mutual and chair of the building project’s steering committee, the company sought design partners that could deliver a unique building while also incorporating the company’s commitment to serving the interests of policyowners.

“Our intent is to build a beautiful complement to the Milwaukee skyline,” said Gerend, “but this is first of all a workplace that has to meet the practical needs of our business. It was particularly important for us to find a design architect such as Pickard Chilton that understands the goal of balancing iconic with practical.”

In collaboration, the team will design a new building that establishes a modern work environment and allows employees at the company’s Milwaukee and Franklin campuses to connect. The result will be a workplace that promotes greater efficiency, more collaboration, and additional energy and excitement.

Pickard Chilton Delivers World-class Design

As the design architect, Pickard Chilton will be responsible for the design of the exterior of the building as well as the main lobbies and public spaces.

“It’s clear that Pickard Chilton understands our commitment to our policyowners and to Milwaukee,” said Gerend. “They will work closely with us to make the right building for Northwestern Mutual.”

Gerend added that the selection of these firms is the first of dozens that will be hired in coming years to complete a project of this scale. “Constructing a functional, attractive tower will require the talents of experts from across town and across the country,” he said.

Pending city approvals, Northwestern Mutual’s downtown development could be complete in 2017. The company has not yet defined building specifications or developed a design.

Pickard Chilton has designed significant corporate buildings worldwide and has a reputation for developing spaces that engage employees and their settings. The firm is also recognized for innovative use of sustainable methods and materials that incorporate Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification standards.

“We are tremendously excited to be a part of this once-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine Milwaukee’s 21st century skyline,” said Jon Pickard, FAIA, RIBA, a principal of Pickard Chilton. “We envision a distinguished and elegant design that is respectful of this prominent and visible site and one that will build on Northwestern Mutual’s proud tradition of contributing to the vitality of Milwaukee.”

Pickard shared his excitement about creating a design that will effectively complement not only Northwestern Mutual, but the lakefront, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Milwaukee County War Memorial Center, and neighboring green space. Northwestern Mutual anticipates that its building design will incorporate greater opportunities for policyowners and the public to access and utilize the campus.

Valerio Dewalt Train Associates Creates 21st Century Workplaces

Valerio Dewalt Train Associates is responsible for the design of the building’s interior architecture. The firm’s research-based approach to the design process begins with a deep understanding of the culture of each client.

“In many ways, our new building will be designed from the inside out,” said Gerend. “VDTA is helping us think about how we can use our space in the best way possible. They’re already helping us gather input into how our future space can create a building that will engage our employees and meet our business needs.”

Kendall/Heaton Associates Combines Collaborative Design Efforts

Kendall/Heaton Associates, Inc., the architect of record, will coordinate the work of Pickard Chilton, Valerio Dewalt Train, and any other consultants that will be engaged throughout the design process. Kendall/Heaton is an architectural design and planning firm with extensive experience providing architect of record services and collaboration with the world’s premier design firms on a variety of projects including office towers and corporate headquarters.

“Kendall/Heaton has a reputation for managing diverse teams on large, complex projects, including projects involving Hines,” said Gerend. “The firm’s experts will work every day to make sure the all of the pieces of the design will be coming together.”

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – among the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies in 2012 according to FORTUNE® magazine – has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 155 years. As a mutual company with $1.4 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.