Opus Architects & Engineers

Mounds View, Minnesota


Medtronic, maker of implantable cardioverter defibrillators, pacemakers, and monitoring equipment for cardiac rhythm disorders, has a new 1.2 million-square-foot campus, Phase 1 of a 1.5 million-square-foot project that will eventually house 6,000 Medtronic employees. With a focus on innovation through collaboration, Medtronic’s new facility aims to redefine the way in which products are designed and brought to market.

Opus Architects & Engineers chose to team up with Julie Snow Architects in a collaborative design effort to arrange a program based on an interdisciplinary project team approach with that large and flexible floor plates. The design divides the program into three eight-story buildings with rectangular floor plates averaging 44,000 square feet. Glass links, lined with conference rooms, connect the three buildings and serve as a place for interaction. Here, overlapping three story spaces provide visual connectivity between floors and panoramic views of the landscape. 

The buildings are oriented in the east-west direction, reducing the energy load, and they are offset along their east-west axis for a dynamic massing composition in response to existing site features. This shifting relationship is extended as a linear pattern on the landscape, tying the compositional logic of the buildings into their surroundings. 

A healthy and pleasant work environment is created by the consistent access to daylight, open stairs, outdoor access, and two-mile walking path around the campus. Amenities include fitness and childcare centers, a coffee shop, convenience store, cafeteria, store, and bank. Rain gardens, indigenous plants, and efficient fixtures reduce water consumption more than 20 percent over a base building model. Other sustainable design strategies include the use of high albedo roof materials, no CFC HVAC systems, low or no VOC interior finishes with highly recycled content, structured parking, and the preservation of green space.

The building skin is designed to meet a strict cost model of 60 percent glass and 40 percent pre-cast concrete.  Hence, the design team aimed for maximum effect with simple means. The solution is a striped composition of varying colors and pre-cast spandrel heights. Only three spandrel sizes and three colors are used, but are combined in an engaging and dynamic way that renders each building unique, reinforcing Medtronic’s image as a medical technology world leader that is innovative, fun, and full of life.


Medtronic, Inc.

Opus Architects & Engineers
10350 Bren Road West
Minnetonka, MN 55343
Ph. (952)656-4444
Fax (952)656-4529

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:
Principal in Charge: John Albers AIA

Grant Peterson AIA

Project Lead Designer: Dan Young Dixon, AIA

Project Designer: Ernesto Ruiz-Garcia

Project Architect: Scott Cochrane AIA

Architect of record:
Opus Architects & Engineers
10350 Bren Road West
Minnetonka, MN 55343

Associate architect:
Julie Snow Architects, Design Collaborator
527 Marquette Avenue, 2400 Rand Tower
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Julie Snow FAIA
Tyson McElvain, AIA
Daniel Winden

Interior designer:
Perkins + Will
84 Tenth Street South, Suite 200
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Opus Architects & Engineers
10350 Bren Road West
Minnetonka, MN 55343

Landscape: Close Landscape Architecture.

General contractor:
Opus Northwest Construction L.L.C.
10350 Bren Road West
Minnetonka, MN 55343

Koyama Photography (612-875-9423)

George Heinrich Photography (612-338-2092)
Lucie Marusin, Perkins + Will (612-851-5071)






Structural system: Steel frame with composite concrete-on-metal-deck floor system.

Exterior cladding:
Metal/glass curtainwall: EFCO Curtainwall

Concrete: Gage Brothers

Insulation: Thermafiber

Metal Panels: Peterson Aluminum Corp., McNichols (perforated)

Built-up roofing: Firestone (4) Ply Built Up

Glass: Viracon VEI-52 glass

Window Film: 3M Dusted Crystal

Entrances: EFCO

Wood doors: Algoma Hardwoods

Upswinging doors, other: Clopay

Locksets: Schlage

Hinges: PBB

Closers: LCN

Interior finishes:
Acoustical ceilings: USG

Suspension grid: USG

Demountable partitions: Accurate Partitions, Partition Systems Inc.

Cabinetwork and custom woodwork: Calmar Manufacturing

Lab casework: Fisher Hamilton

Paints and stains: Benjamin Moore, ICI Paints, Devoe Coatings

Wallcoverings: Knoll Textiles

Floor and wall tile: American Olean, US Ceramic Tile, Italgraniti, Royal Mosa, Mirage, FLORIM

Resilient flooring: Armstrong, Rickett Quartz, NORA Rubber Flooring, Tarkett

Carpet: InterfaceFlor Commercial, Milliken Carpet

Raised flooring: Tate Access Flooring

Window Treatments: Mechoshade ThermoVeil, Springs Window Fasions

Corner Guards: Hiawatha, Inc.

Lockers: General Storage Systems

Elevators/Escalators: Schindler Miconic TXR5 Traction