Winters in Minnesota are among the coldest in the country. Add to that fact an average annual snowfall of 56.3”, and it’s no wonder the latest move up for a thriving Minneapolis-area automotive dealership was to build a building large enough to put its entire inventory on display in climate-controlled comfort.
Located in Bloomington, the new Motorwerks BMW & Mini facility features a two-story, state-of-the-art showroom and service center with an attached four-story enclosed lot. It was designed by Phillips Architects & Contractors of Minneapolis. Reflective of the sophistication of the automobiles on display, the 200,000 sq. ft. building is clad predominantly with aluminum composite metal wall panels, with the material carried over into the interior spaces as well.
Shaffner Heany & Associates of South Bend, IN, fabricated the interior and exterior wall panels from 4mm-thick Reynobond® ACM material, manufactured by Alcoa Architectural Products. The 48,000 sq. ft. of panels used on the outside have a Bone White paint finish while the 2,800 sq. ft. used for the large interior columns and in the vestibule are Bright Silver Metallic. An additional 1,000 sq. ft. of Black panels were used as an exterior accent.
Specialty Systems of Burnsville, MN installed the panels and matching reveal within the joints in their RLS 9000 system - an open joint rainscreen panel system with an ice and water shield membrane on a fire treated plywood substrate. "There were a fair amount of changes during construction," commented Bill Reynolds of Specialty Systems, "which in most instances, were to change cold spaces into warm spaces." R.J. Ryan of Mendota Heights, MN was the general contractor for the project.
"Working with Specialty Systems made Reynobond® ACM a natural choice for this project," said David Phillips. "Their superb understanding and mastery of the material continually inspires my confidence. In this instance, the project is located on a very visible corner site—actually the busiest corner in Minnesota—so it was essential that the exterior skin enhance the structure's presence. Specialty Systems used a good-looking route and return system that not only eliminates ugly grout lines that detract from the overall look, but provides a practical structure that can withstand the severe climate swings we experience here in Minnesota.
"Color was also an important consideration for this project," continued Phillips. "It's very difficult to find a material that delivers true color—in this case a true white and a true black. I've found that I can count on Reynobond® ACM to deliver the exact color specified."
The new showroom, which opened on March 17, 2006, is located at the intersection of two interstate highways on the site of a previous Motorwerks BMW facility, which the owners had retained in anticipation of their future needs. Today, freezing temperatures and blankets of show don't deter customers from viewing the dealer's 500 new and pre-owned cars, which are all housed inside the building. Amenities in the new showroom were designed to accommodate both the customers and employees in comfort. Customers who choose to wait while their cars are serviced are encouraged to relax in one of several waiting lounges, designed with a selection of atmosphere ranging from quiet rooms to those with flat panel TV's or workstations, or to enjoy a cup of coffee at the dealer's café. And employees no longer have to constantly deal with the mess created as people track in and out of the building with wet and snow-covered shoes.