car wash blog

05 A Modern Car Wash Concept Takes Form in a Study Model

Posted by Derek Leavitt on Thu, May 31, 2007

architect process

Car washes have an interesting mix of things that should be seen, the automated washing tunnel, and things that should be hidden, noisy and ugly equipment. It is from this observation that the concept of a screen evolved. The density of the screen morphs from nearly opaque to transparent, hiding the unsightly and emphasizing the visually appealing aspects of the car wash process. The screen also doubles as a shading device for both the patrons and employees, protecting them against the often intense heat of the San Fernando Valley.

We began design work with the client asking us to really go for it - to look at a complete transformation of the car wash. This initial concept was almost entirely designed in physical model form.

Here are some pictures of the study model:


architecture model

The street side of the car wash with a bold new roof canopy and sign.


Car Wash Modern

The waiting area. Note the Fashion Square graphic.


modern architecture

The waiting area with screens for sun protection


modern architect

The wash ordering area


modern signs

We liked the idea of simplified signs throughout the site. Here at the ordering area we went with one word - "clean".

modern architect

Under the ordering canopy


modern car wash

Car wash ordering menus


architecture car wash

The screen wall is used to hide some of the equipment. but becomes more transparent down the tunnel allowing people to watch their cars in the wash tunnel.

Topics: Car Wash, Car Wash Remodel, study model

04 Architecture Study Model Base

Posted by Derek Leavitt on Thu, May 10, 2007

architect schedule

We do much of our architectural design work three dimensionally. One of the best ways to achieve this is through physical study models. Because this project was a remodel, we first built a model of the car wash as it exists. A large base model that we could then manipulate with design options.

Here are a few photos of the 1/4"= 1'-0" scale model we built of the existing car wash, before any modifications. The model quickly made us aware of the simple beauty of the exposed steel structure that repeats throughout the building.

architect model

The front (street side) of the car wash

architect study model

The car wash from above (roof of wash tunnel removed)

architect model

The car wash tunnel and beauty of the repetitive steel structure

Topics: Car Wash Remodel, study model