Northwestern Mutual, a financial services company based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has expanded into a brand new, modern office space – in a building that is nearly a century old. The company worked with Eppstein Uhen Architects, Milwaukee, to completely renovate the interior of Milwaukee’s Van Buren building, built in 1926, and Banker Wire woven wire mesh now clads its central elevator banks.
Northwestern Mutual bought the 158,000-square-foot, seven-story Van Buren building in January 2013 and worked with Eppstein Uhen Architects, Milwaukee, to redesign its interior. Northwestern Mutual aimed to achieve a contemporary aesthetic for the open-concept office, where more than 600 employees work. The modern design relies on the interplay of wood, glass, concrete and metal. In the elevator banks, walls clad in sleek Banker Wire mesh are juxtaposed with warm-looking wood paneling, creating a contemporary space that embodies the company’s identity as a state-of-the-art workplace.
After consulting with Banker Wire, the designers selected DS-1 architectural woven wire mesh for the space. The metal fabric was incorporated around the elevator openings and control panels, blending a stylish look with full functionality. Gently undulating flat wires woven with thinner, straight wires produce a robust, symmetric fabric with soothing qualities that bring visual depth to this vertical application. The opaque metal fabric contrasts texturally with the smooth elevator door and complements the warmth of nearby wood paneling for a modern aesthetic that achieve the architect’s design goals.
Eppstein Uhen Architects, Inc.
H.J. Martin and Son, Inc.