University Car Wash

Charlottesville VA

Creativity is sometimes as simple as giving a building type a different look. Leaving the stereotype behind opens up an opportunity for questions and innovation. What are the best building materials? What would be sustainable? What would create a distinctive image? What might look compelling after dark? What would open up a typically opaque interior to daylight and views from the street? What sort of building system could be easily replicated on future sites? This small car wash project provided a unique opportunity to answer these questions in an unconventional manner.

Automated carwashes are, from a functional standpoint, nothing more than equipment covers. A beautiful polycarbonate enclosure ensures visibility and security for those inside the wash, while protecting equipment from the elements.

A state-of-the-art water reclamation system uses less water in a day than the average car wash performed at home with a garden hose. From the owner: “We didn’t have to promote this all when we opened up. Cars were lined up to get in as soon as we opened the doors. People and their kids want to see it and go through it. It’s almost an amusement ride… there’s no claustrophobic feeling and [it] gives them an open and safe feeling.”

Project Type: Commercial