Rochester Parking Structure

Rochester, MN

The ramp design features urban design standards that conform to Destination Medical Center guidelines and includes a pedestrian promenade, as well as one underground level. The year-long construction completed in May 2019. The design conformed closely to the vision laid out in the DMC Design Guidelines, and while the design process started before the design guidelines were published, the final product matched the DMC vision. Overall, the ramp has space for 640 cars. Ninety of those stalls are dedicated to the other building on the block, the under-construction Hilton Hotel building. The parking ramp and the Hilton will connect in several places, including at the skyway level.

The city of Rochester wanted a higher level of architectural finishes on their new six hundred car parking ramp. They challenged the designers to explore for something different than traditional architectural precast concrete that is on many of the city’s parking ramps. In the end, the designers selected a terra-cotta clay tile exterior veneer on an architectural precast concrete panel.

Wells Concrete produced and erected more than 20,000 sq. ft. of precast for the project, including some unique arch pieces.  The top arch sits on a bottom arch on each side.  There are two complete arches, going over a railroad track that goes under the ramp.  The top arch is 45′-9.5″ out to out with a rise of 9′-6″ to the top.  The section is 34″ deep, 16″ wide and a taper to 23’’ wide on the top side in erected position, with a sandblast finish. In addition to the arched pieces, Wells also provided architectural wall panels with beautiful cornices and terra-cotta accents.

Terra-cotta is a type of ceramic tile made from red and brown clays unique to the quarry location. The raw clay material is shaped into the desired clay tile sizes and then is allowed to dry, then fired in a kiln. Firing the clay tiles makes it hard and durable. The tile can then be glazed or left untreated in its natural state. Terra-cotta tiles are a lovely mixture of reds, browns and natural earth tones, which can create swooping clouds of color with subdued changes on surface of every clay tile.

The clay tiles were specified in 9” x 4’-6” sizes typically. The tiles arrived at the Wells’ manufacturing facility from Germany with each tile individually marked for placement into the casting beds. The tiles were set into the casting beds with corresponding tile mark numbers related to each precast wall panel. Wells’ engineering department worked closely with the tile supplier to assure every tile was accounted for and manufactured to the exact size to fit perfectly into the architectural precast concrete panels. To adhere the tiles to the architectural precast panels, the backs of the tiles have dove tailed slots that mechanically bond the tile to the precast concrete.

Watch this video to hear a summary of the project.

ProductSq. Ft.#
Architectural Solid Wall23,905235
Flat Architectural604