Northwestern Headquarters and Community Amenities
Northwestern Mutual Headquarters - exterior lobby
Northwestern Mutual Headquarters
Interior of the Northwestern Mutual Headquarters' atrium

Northwestern Mutual Headquarters and Community Amenities

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

1.1 Million GSF; 32 stories

Milwaukee’s first significant building of the 21st century, Northwestern Mutual Headquarters and Community Amenities reflects the city’s invigorating urban lifestyle and serves as a beacon for the Northwestern Mutual family, Greater Milwaukee residents, and visitors. The building design includes a “Commons” over three stories in height that extends along the south side of East Mason Street, covering an area over two city blocks.

The Commons have a public space with a visitor center, café, and an outdoor dining venue capable of serving 6,000 meals per day. Fitness centers and other amenities serve staff occupying the building, as well as the thousands of Northwestern Mutual employees that visit the facility for training and conferences annually. A corporate museum was included within the headquarters facility and there are three acres of park land around the building that include a water feature.

Part of the Commons was constructed over the existing basement and foundation of the corporate headquarters which have existed for over 100 years. The construction of the Northwestern Mutual Headquarters and Community Amenities also covered the remaining basement level of the corporate headquarters’ 1980’s construction.


  • LEED Gold certified.
  • AEI 2019 Best Overall Project
  • Developed new MEP infrastructure spines to serve the three major components of the facility.
  • Implemented mechanical system designed to have no aesthetic impact on the lobby space with components hidden above ceilings and behind walls.
  • Developed a central heating and cooling plant that serves the office tower, the two-city block Commons area, and the original corporate headquarters complex.
  • Developed a plug-and-play MEP systems for a flexible office environment, including power and HVAC systems.
  • Utilized a raised floor for office components, providing individual HVAC control for office tenants.
  • Created a unique system of electrical, water, and gas meters that measure and verify energy output.
  • Created Building Management and Control System (BMCS) that provides the ability to view trends in power consumption and quality, as well as program lighting controls.
  • Developed lighting and controls that extend to the park, which features holiday lighting options and the ability to utilize additional electrical capacity as needed for large events.
  • Designed a fire alarm system includes redundant fire alarm control panels located on every 7th level and across the commons.
  • Designed to reduce energy consumption on a cost basis by over 30% compared to ASHRAE 2007 standards.
  • Designed for lighting to use less than 80% of energy consumption allowed by code.
  • Designed to reduce water usage by 38% over baseline.
  • Designed green roof for aesthetic appeal and water sustainability.
  • Implemented a smoke control system for the 6-story atrium interconnecting the new Commons with the existing corporate headquarters.

Photography credit: Tom Rossiter Photography

Related Projects
Exterior view of River Point Tower at sunsetAirplane hanging from the ceiling inside the atrium of Delaware Resource Group