Kellogg School of Management, The Global Hub

The 415,000 square-foot “Global Hub” is the new home of the Kellogg School of Management on Northwestern University’s Evanston, Illinois campus.  The building consists of a 6-story irregularly shaped iconic, curvilinear structure that incorporates four concrete “lofts” positioned around two vertically staked atriums.  The building is supported on Chicago hardpan clay founded bell caissons.  The structure has below grade levels that provided challenges for earth retention, construction sequencing and waterproofing given its proximity to Lake Michigan and beautiful on-campus lagoon.  To realize the architect’s vision of collaboration spaces, dramatic setbacks, and loft spaces, the structural engineer’s solution included using a combination of reinforced concrete, posttensioned beams, and structural steel.

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Key Challenges

The complex geometry of dissimilar column grids in the architectural design necessitated a significant amount of collaboration between GEI and the structural engineer to fine tune the building performance for vertical and lateral stability as there are only three shear wall systems for the “K” shaped structure.  This was a critical issue given the irregularly shaped structures’ loft spaces and full height glazing.

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