The Mr. Carwash Headquarters successfully re-purposes an Art Deco-inspired, late 1950’s three-story school building into a contemporary open office environment. Situated two short blocks away from the new Modern Street Car on Fourth Avenue, the project completes the intersection and reconnects the building to its historic neighborhood with over 25,000 square feet of state-of-the-art office space.
The formerly vacant brick and steel building is completely re-envisioned into a dynamic, modern, open office environment complete with breakout rooms, a training space, a workout area with showers, and a sizable lounge that spills out to a shaded, landscaped entry courtyard. The integrity of the existing structure is brought to the forefront with exposed brick walls and open steel trusses that contrast with vibrant modern colors, materials, and floor coverings on the interior. A new entry canopy and courtyard at the east façade continues the structural grid of the building to the outside, creating a welcoming shaded oasis for the office users and the neighborhood.
The transformation is pivotal in creating a new paradigm of business moving back to the core of the city to be able to engage a more vibrant work force in the authentic and desirable West University Neighborhood. This building represents not only a cultural shift for a company with national reach to attract new young talent, but a community-wide shifting mindset in the value of living, working and playing in a desert urban environment.
Key design features include:
- Repurposing an old building with a dynamic new use is one of the best “smart growth” strategies. The Mr. Carwash project is a “win, win, win”; the +60 year old building is given a new life, the neighborhood gets a complete overhaul of what was an eyesore and Mr. Carwash gets exciting state of the art office space but with the authentic brick and steel construction of a past era.
- A new “light well” adjacent to the main stair is cut into existing concrete floors at every level to create a dramatic 40′ atrium at the main lobby. This will bring light from a skylight down into the lowest level of the building and encourage interaction and synergy amongst all employees.
- An existing circulation stair has been repurposed as a presentation “auditorium” and meeting space. This feature embraces the daylight of existing windows and presents the building’s inner workings as a prominent feature from the exterior.
- A new elevator is placed in the middle of the building floor plate in the structural location designated by the original architects; centrally located for convenience but tucked away to encourage circulation through east and west stairwells.
- The east patio is designed to be an inviting destination for guests as well as a restful location for company employees. Half of the overhead canopy is fully shaded for circulation, while the other half will soon be covered in a canopy of living vines to create a relaxing filigree of dappled light and vegetation.
- The use of new finishes, found midcentury modern light fixtures and furniture, and exposed existing materials throughout the building pays respect to the integrity of the old structure while embodying the cutting-edge character and culture of the Mr. Car Wash company.
- New street trees are planted along 6th avenue and 5th street to literally green up the neighborhood and provide shade for pedestrians.
- A new, highly insulated roof system is implemented to provide maximum comfort for the office users while lowering energy consumption.
- A rainwater harvesting system will collect precipitation from the roof into a tank that will be re-used at a later date for landscape irrigation.
- The parking area incorporates 43 shaded spaces that will reduce heat island effect and provide a comfortable way to get back in a car during the warmest times of the year.