Kellogg Breaks Ground On $220 Million Hub

Inside the new home of the Kellogg School of Management

Inside the new home of the Kellogg School of Management


Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management today (Nov. 14) broke ground for a new and ultra-modern new home that will offer dramatic vistas of Lake Michigan and Chicago’s skyline. In support of the new five-story, 410,00-square-foot “global hub,” Dean Sally Blount also announced the launch of a $350 million capital campaign.

A new $220 million building for Kellogg has been on Blount’s agenda shortly after she became dean in July of 2010 from New York University where she led the Stern School’s undergraduate business program. Blount has poured money into the Donald Jacobs Center to freshen up the place, renovating several parts of the building in advance of getting a completely new home. But it has been clear for some time that Kellogg has outgrown its current home.

Many rivals, moreover, have since put up more spacious and modern facilities, including the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, which opened the doors on its new $125 million home in 2004, and Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, which opened its $345 million nine-building complex in 2011. Yale University’s School of Management is just about to move into its new 242,000 square-foot Edward Evans Hall in January.

At the groundbreaking celebration, Gordon I. Segal, chair of the trustees’ Educational Properties Committee, said matter-of-factly that Kellogg’s present facilities “weren’t up to standards” and that it was important for the school to have a first-rate facility if it is to attract the best and brightest students and faculty moving forward.


Kellogg’s new hub will feature what the school called “a flexible, multi-faceted space” that can be easily reconfigured so that lecture-style classrooms can become large seminar rooms and offices can become study rooms. The building’s signature space will be a two-story 6,600-square-foot conservatory, designed as a destination for business and civic leaders. The space will be able to accommodate 250 people for dinners or 350 people for speeches and presentations.

Construction on Kellogg’s new facility on what is now a lakefront parking lot next to the Allen Center will begin early in 2014, with an expected completion date in late 2016. The building is being designed by Toronto-based KPMB Architects, which was also the architect for the University of Toronto’s new Rotman School of Management building. “The design of our new global hub embodies our commitment to inspiring brave thinking and catalyzing bold action as we meet the changing needs for management education in an increasingly complex and demanding global marketplace,” Blount said in a statement.

Kellogg students, faculty, administrators and alumni were involved in the design process, which included visits by the design team to organizations such as Google and Pixar to learn more about creating spaces that support collaborative learning and innovation. The design team included Booz & Company in the early conceptualization process, bringing the best in design thinking to the project, the school said.

“I think the new building is awesome,” second-year MBA Jeremy O’Briant told The Daily Northwestern student newspaper. “I’m blown away by the design. It’s an exciting time for the school and good for the future. There’s  been a lot of buzz about the new building.”


The new building and the existing James L. Allen Center, which houses Kellogg’s executive education programs, will form a world-class lakefront business campus. Together, they represent a comprehensive strategy to advance business education and thought leadership at Northwestern.The new facility for Kellogg also will serve as the headquarters for the department of economics in the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences.

The announcement of the $350 million capital campaign, the school said, emphasizes Kellogg’s determination to remain one of the world’s premier business schools.

  • Macncheese

    “Construction on Kellogg’s new facility on what is now a lakefront parking lot next to the Allen Center” –– ha! Not so! (Just look at a map.) It’s filling in the lagoon in front of the Allen Center, degrading the fantastic location and view the exec ed center currently enjoys. Their high paying customers won’t be happy about that. True, the new offices will offer the best view on campus!

  • avivalasvegas

    My friends at Kellogg tell me that their current building lacks adequate space, aesthetic appeal and supportive environments. I share the view that a building can enhance the learning environment of an institution (or detract from it) and can affect the way the world views the institution. Just look at how well Booth’s new building has complimented the school.

    I’m optimistic about this one – they’ve certainly had the time to perfect it.

  • starbucksfan2010

    I’m a Kellogg 2013 and I don’t agree with you at all.
    1/ That is again a doubtful use of our money
    2/ Current administration is famous for milking its own hype
    3/ I don’t see how these narrow skybridges will help you guys be “more community and team-oriented”


  • Alum

    I am an alum. The new building looks amazing. However no building will replace the amazing community that Kellogg has. The new building will help further that part of Kellogg but what matters most is that the spirit of the school successfully transfers from Jacob’s building to the new one.

  • Someone who knows something

    FYI the open space is actually an extension of what we currently believe to be a great aspect of our currently building. Kellogg is well known for it’s community and the team oriented approach. The open space serves to encourage the interaction that makes Kellogg’s culture unique. It is by design that we have open spaces where magic happens.

  • cereal_admit

    A lot of empty space. Doesn’t seem functional at all which highlights that it is certainly another ego project.

  • K!-Mink

    That’s exactly what current students feel, well perhaps we will sit in there as alums. That said the quality of the education remains exceptional, which by far outweighs any regret for not sitting in state of the art 21st century style building.

  • K!-Mink

    Does tuition and building correlate? Building or not seems to me that schools have a kind of policy that allows them to increase tuition anywhere below 7% p.a…

  • Orange1

    I don’t know, but doesn’t all this new b-school building reek of an “arms race” to see who can spend more? It reminds me of how each city tries to build a new NFL stadium to make theirs bigger and better. So if you spend $100 million on a building, another $50M gives you better chairs, ceiling lights, hallways? How is that supposed to affect the education quality?

  • JohnAByrne

    Agree. The building looks so impressive you just want to be inside it.

  • Jimmy

    Exciting project but late 2016 as a date of completion seems ages to wait for !

  • Shalini

    So very excited for the new building!

  • ddd

    And the tuition goes up and up and up..