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Uni-Systems, LLC
Limited liability company
Founded 1968
Headquarters Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
Key people
Cyril Silberman, CEO
Bart Riberich, President
Products Kinetic Architecture (operable/mechanized architecture)
Number of employees
37 regular employees, around 20 temporary employees
Slogan Kinetic Architecture
Website http://www.uni-systems.com

Uni-Systems, LLC is a design, construction, and consultation engineering firm located in Minneapolis, Minnesota specializing in kinetic architecture, or movable, mechanized structures designed to adapt to individual structures’ needs. The firm has become particularly recognized for its design and installation of retractable roof systems on various sports stadiums across the United States;[1] Uni-Systems has been involved in the construction of five of the seven sports stadiums incorporating retractable roofs in North America since 1999.

The company was founded in 1968 by Cyril Silberman, CEO, and began extensive work within the aerospace industry[2] including the design and installation of hangar doors, landing gear elevator platforms, empennage stands, and the firm’s patented Uni-Dock.[3] Clients of Uni-Systems in the aerospace industry include American Airlines, SkyVenture, Boeing, Canadian Air, the United States Air Force, and El Al Israel Airlines.

Retractable roofs[edit]

Though it is not the only product Uni-Systems has delivered to clients, the company has become recognized as the "leader in retractable roofs."[4] The firm's work with stadiums began with Minute Maid Park (formerly Enron Field), when they were contracted to work on the stadium's retractable roof with the architectural company Populous (then called HOK Sport). Along with the retractable roof, Uni-Systems also designed and installed the Squeeze Play feature, and the custom ornamental train that runs along an outfield wall at the stadium. Minute Maid Park gave credence to Uni-Systems as a successful provider of retractable roof mechanization systems,[5][6] and the firm has become involved in numerous projects.

Along with the design and installation of retractable roofs, Uni-Systems helps develop custom control systems for operating mechanized components. In the case of Reliant Stadium, Uni-Systems worked with General Electric to control the bi-parting stadium roof using the GE Fanuc Series 90-70 Programmable Logic Controller, which provides a simple user-interface to control the roof, as well as detailed diagnostic resources designed to identify any problems in the mechanization system.[7] Uni-Systems is also able to connect remotely to clients' systems to help run operations, perform maintenance, or identify problems in extreme cases.[8]

The retractable skylight over the 470-ft-long retail concourse of Salt Lake City's City Creek Mall consists of two independent sections, one 230 ft and the other 240 ft long and each 58 ft wide. The retractable motion was achieved through three opposing glass-covered arched panels that cantilever across the 55.5-ft-wide concourse. Each panel has three plate box "ribs" with a 12.5-ft upturned back-span. The 80-ton skylight opens or closes in five minutes. City Creek Mall expects to have the roof open 70% of the time.[9]


The company has also designed several other mechanized components in sports stadiums, such as the retractable end zone window-walls at Lucas Oil Stadium and Cowboys Stadium. It also designed the movable playing field at the University of Phoenix Stadium and the retractable pitcher’s mound at RFK Stadium.[6]

In addition to large scale projects, Uni-Systems has completed several smaller projects ranging from the Bengt Sjostrom Theatre (Starlight Theatre) to a private residential observatory.[10]

Project list[11]


In addition to large projects, Uni-Systems has also launched an effort in the form of their Modular Mechanization Components (MMC) to bring pre-engineered components to any client – large corporations, small businesses, and even residences. These components can be tailored to fit the needs of a client with simple modifications to an already-existing design, allowing virtually any client to have kinetic architecture without a lengthy design process. The MMC line currently includes three products:[12]

  • 10-inch drive
  • 24-inch drive
  • Torque Tube

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Lucas Oil Stadium Retractable Roof to Close for the First Time in Indianapolis Today | Reuters
  2. ^ Uni-Systems Company Overview
  3. ^ UniDock Case Study
  4. ^ http://www.bizjournals.com/twincities/stories/2002/02/25/focus3.html
  5. ^ Minute Maid Park: Facts and Figures | astros.com: Ballpark
  6. ^ a b An open-and-shut case for good drives
  7. ^ http://www.gefanuc.com/pressroom/literature/20021218_ReliantPark.doc
  8. ^ http://www.uni-systems.com/en/solutions/components/computer-control#control-systems
  9. ^ Disappearing Act is a 'Whalebone' of a Feat | ENR.com: BLDGS
  10. ^ Uni-Systems Library
  11. ^ http://www.uni-systems.com/en/projects/projects-by-type
  12. ^ http://www.uni-systems.com/en/mmc