Northwestern University
Dean Blount's Blog

Building for our Future

December 7, 2011

  Our new global hub

Our new global hub will be situated next to the lakefront and adjacent to the Allen Center.


Now that Kellogg has selected Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) to design our new building, we’ve moved into high gear. We’re busy fostering detailed discussions among the Kellogg community about what the design needs to accomplish practically, while at the same time looking at the “built” world for ideas and inspiration for what we can accomplish aesthetically.

Royal Conservatory, Koerner Concert Hall  

KPMB’s portfolio includes many outstanding projects, including this one:
Royal Conservatory, Koerner Concert Hall.



Two weeks ago, several members of our team flew out to California with KPMB Partners Bruce Kuwabara and Marianne McKenna to look at a number of buildings. In a speedy one-day trip, we visited the headquarters of Pixar, Facebook and Google, and also toured the new Knight Center of Management at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. It was an energizing day. In each building, we saw many elements and ideas, some that we liked more than others. Discussing and debating these observations helped get the team’s creative juices flowing.

We feel that being the last major U.S. business school to launch a new building will yield us a major competitive advantage over the next two decades. By the time we open our doors in fall 2016, our peers’ buildings will be six to15 years old, giving Kellogg the edge to do things with our building that others couldn’t have imagined only a decade ago.

New technology and research on adult learning have advanced significantly in recent years and will continue to do so. These advances will influence much of our building design and how we conceptualize a dynamic learning environment. For example, we would argue that the 65-person “learning bowl” is a 50-year-old idea whose time for dominance is coming to an end.

We’re looking at some really exciting ideas about classroom design that utilize space and technology in new ways. We’re also imagining all kinds of new technology in hallways, design studios and open work areas that support Kellogg’s unique environment — and  foster creativity, discussion and global connection.

If we design our building right, we’ll not only have a new global hub for Kellogg. We’ll also have the first next-generation, university-based learning campus in the U.S. — and perhaps the world.

Now that’s thinking bravely!

I welcome your comments, feedback and ideas at

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