Wash portal: University Car Wash comes down
Travelers down Ivy Road may have noticed that the old University Car Wash was demolished this week. Owned by the same folks who own the Clean Machine Car Wash at Pantops, the familiar building is coming down to make room for another car wash, one that looks like something from a sci-fi movie.
Indeed, we stumbled across some renderings of the new car wash on the website of Bushman Dreyfus Architects, the firm known for bringing us such stylish and contemporary designs as the City Center for Contemporary Arts, Splendora's Gelato Cafe, and the interior of Metropolitan restaurant. So what is a firm whose guiding principles include phrases like "poetry of materials" and "integration of landscape" doing designing a car wash?
"The owners were very open-minded," says architect Jeff Dreyfus, who says they allowed the firm to explore new design ground for the typically conventional structure, which can often be like driving into a dark cave. "They wanted to convey a sense of security and openness," says Dreyfus.
The result is something that looks like a cross between a greenhouse and a time portal. According to Dreyfus, the washing system will be totally "state-of-the-art" and will use recycled water. It should be up and running sometime in the fall, he says.
"We've never designed a car wash before," says Dreyfus, "but it's good when you design something for the first, because you end up exploring all aspects of the project."