Northwestern Mutual picks designer for office tower

Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. Inc. today confirmed that New Haven, Conn.-based Pickard Chilton will be the design architect for the new office tower that the company plans to build at its downtown Milwaukee headquarters campus.

“We are tremendously excited to be a part of this one-in-a-generation opportunity to redefine Milwaukee’s 21st century skyline,” said Jon Pickard, principal for Pickard Chilton. “We envision a distinguished and elegant design that is respectful of this prominent and visible site and one that will build on Northwestern Mutual’s proud tradition of contributing to the viability of Milwaukee.”

Houston-based Kendall/Heaton Associates will be the architect of record for the project. The firm has collaborated with Pickard Chilton on several projects. Today’s announcement confirms information about the architects for the project that was first reported last week by BizTimes Milwaukee.

In addition, Northwestern Mutual announced today that Chicago-based Valerio Dewalt Train Associates will be the interior architect for the project.

In December, Northwestern Mutual announced that it plans to build a new $300 million to $350 million, 840,000-square-foot, 30- to 35-story office tower at its downtown Milwaukee campus. The new building will replace a 16-story, 451,964-square-foot, 34-year-old office building that will be torn down. Northwestern Mutual says that building has maintenance problems caused by water seepage.

“Our intent is to build a beautiful complement to the Milwaukee skyline,” said Tim Gerend, vice president at Northwestern Mutual and chair of the building project’s steering committee. “But this is first of all a workplace that has to meet the practical needs of our business. It was particularly important for us to find a design architect such as Pickard Chilton that understands the goal of balancing iconic with potential.”

Demolition for the project could begin this year and the new tower could be complete by 2017.

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