Northwestern Mutual Unveils Design of New High-rise OfficeTower in Milwaukee

NEW HAVEN, CT – Northwestern Mutual today unveiled the design of its new 32-story high-rise office tower and common space in downtown Milwaukee. The eagerly awaited signature development represents Northwestern Mutual’s commitment to and investment in its policyowners, employees and in the city of Milwaukee. The 1.1 million gross-square-foot project is expected to be completed in 2017 and will provide an additional 1,900 new jobs at Northwestern Mutual as well as employ nearly 1,000 construction workers.

By increasing its downtown workforce and welcoming visitors, 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. The design evolved from the company’s desire to create a state-of-the art work environment to engage employees and embody Northwestern Mutual’s aspirations. 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. As Milwaukee’s first significant building of the 21st century, the project will offer greater comfort, efficiency and productivity and has been designed to achieve USGBC LEED--NC certification.

“It has been a tremendous experience to collaborate with Northwestern Mutual and the design team to realize this new landmark on the lakefront – not only providing a new downtown presence for Northwestern Mutual, but for Milwaukee as well,” said Hines Senior Managing Director Tom D’Arcy. “The Commons will be a new vibrant pedestrian destination where employees and the community can enjoy the new Gardens and connect to the city’s lakefront.”

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.

“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.”

“Northwestern Mutual’s significant investment in this development is a testament to the company’s long history of civic-mindedness and support of its community,” added Pickard Chilton principal William Chilton, FAIA. “This project will further contribute to its long-term viability, growth and success.”

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.


About Pickard Chilton

Pickard Chilton is an international architectural practice noted for its expertise in the design of large, complex buildings including corporate headquarters, high-rise commercial office towers, hotels, and academic and health care facilities. Headquartered in New Haven, Conn., the firm’s completed projects include: Devon Energy Center in Oklahoma City, Okla.; Eaton Center in Cleveland; 1180 Peachtree in Atlanta; Eighth Avenue Place in Calgary, Alberta; and 300 North LaSalle in Chicago. Current projects include the ExxonMobil Office Complex in Houston as well commercial developments in Washington, D.C., Chicago, Calgary, Houston, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Visit for more information.


Hines is a privately owned real estate firm involved in real estate investment, development and property management worldwide. The firm’s historical and current portfolio of projects that are underway, completed, acquired and managed for third parties includes 1,273 properties representing more than 514 million square feet of office, residential, mixed-use, industrial, hotel, medical and sports facilities, as well as large, master-planned communities and land developments. Currently, Hines manages 406 properties totaling 148.5 million square feet, which includes 78.3 million square feet for third parties. With offices in 113 cities in 18 countries, and controlled assets valued at approximately $24.3 billion, Hines is one of the largest real estate organizations in the world. Hines is also a world leader in sustainable real estate strategies, with extensive experience in LEED, ENERGY STAR®, BREEAM, Haute Qualité Environnementale and DGNB green building rating systems. Visit for more information.


Northwestern Mutual is among the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2013 according to FORTUNE® magazine and has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 156 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 is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Milwaukee, WI, and its subsidiaries. Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability income 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; Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

Northwestern Mutual Tower and Commons