Minnesota BioBusiness Center

Cambridge Architectural

Long and narrow vertical mesh panels from Cambridge Architectural add a sophisticated, clean design and a durable exterior cladding to the newly-expanded municipal parking garage at the Minnesota BioBusiness Center in downtown Rochester, MN.

Located in the heart of the city, among some of the country’s most prominent research and development institutions like the Mayo Clinic and IBM Rochester, the eight-story Minnesota BioBusiness Center was developed by Rochester’s Economic Development Authority to provide a prime operating location for biotechnology and medical device companies. The connected parking garage serves the institutions and the public, and helps add to the aesthetic allure of the notable restaurants, shops and businesses that surround it.

A Cambridge Parkade™ architectural mesh system veils the east and west facing facades of the garage, sleekly dressing up the concrete structure. On the east-facing side, the mesh also complements the glass exterior of the pedestrian walkway system connecting two of the Minnesota BioBusiness Center’s main buildings, blending in perfectly with their architectural style. At night, Cambridge’s mesh elegantly diffuses the light emitted from inside the parking garage, creating a glow that softens the structure’s look.

“The new parkade is located right on Rochester’s ‘main street,’ among pedestrian-related businesses and other attractions,” says Terry Spaeth, Senior Administrative Analyst for the City of Rochester, which owns the facility. “Cambridge’s material helped to create the perfect aesthetic for such a highly-visible building, and it’s been a great addition to the city.”

Construction and operation of the Minnesota BioBusiness Center parkade, like all new buildings, needed to be cost-effective and efficient. Cambridge’s architectural mesh was chosen for the building’s façade because it managed to adequately cover the structure’s exterior without restricting airflow – always an important consideration for parking garages. Additionally, Cambridge’s metal fabric is well known for its ability to withstand extreme temperatures and harsh winters like those in Minnesota.

“Our experience, not only with parking garages, but also with harsh climates, made this project a natural fit for us,” says Heather Collins, Director of Marketing for Cambridge Architectural. “We’ve always been able to deliver an elegant-looking material backed up by surprising strength, and the Minnesota BioBusiness Center is the latest example of that.”

Cambridge is committed to assisting the design and construction team from initial concept to final installation on each and every project. For the Minnesota BioBusiness Center parkade, Cambridge developed an ideal system to address all the visual and functional needs of the exterior cladding. The system was then specifically engineered to fit the structure's openings, making installation as simple as possible.

The Parkade system was fabricated with mesh in Cambridge’s Mid-Balance pattern, which features large-scaled, flexible open weaves that shade and screen structures including facades, parking garages and pavilions.

Cambridge’s Scroll™ tension attachment hardware was used to install the Mid-Balance product. Scroll is the only tension system to hide the attachment behind it, keeping the focus on the metal fabric. It conceals the support by quarter-wrapping the bracket that attaches to the structural support. The unique hardware grips the metal fabric and holds it in tension up to 100 feet.

Construction on the Minnesota BioBusiness Center parkade was completed in November 2009. The project team consists of architect HGA, Rochester, MN,; general contractor Adolfson & Peterson Construction, Minneapolis; and the City of Rochester.

Cambridge Architectural Parkade metal fabric solutions lend unique aesthetic appeal, functionality, affordability and sustainable benefits to parking structures. As exterior cladding for parking garages, Parkade applications provide ventilation, fall protection, visibility, headlight attenuation, safety, security and many additional functional benefits. Cambridge offers a wide range of metal fabric patterns and corresponding attachment hardware, and is always available for comprehensive design and engineering assistance. With every project, Cambridge provides turn-key installation.

About Cambridge Architectural

Cambridge Architectural is a full-service provider of architectural metal mesh systems for both interior and exterior building applications. For more information, visit

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