Advanced Search

Angled metal-panel design gives car wash exterior a unique visual polish

Architectural creativity is generally considered to be an afterthought for certain building types. Think about structures like convenience stores, strip malls and many chain retail outlets – all of these typically are generic boxes with little to catch the eye before you walk through the doors. Automated car washes usually fit into this category, as well, designed to be driven through rather than admired from the outside. A new car wash outside Baton Rouge, La., however, raises the bar on such minimal expectations, with a design that uses a basic cladding material – metal wall panels – to create a unique visual impact.

The Black Diamond Express Car Wash in Prairieville, La., bills itself as providing “the ultimate car wash experience.” It’s a more upscale version of the kind of soapy-brush drive-through facility often attached to your local gas station, offering tire shine and rim cleaning, a “carnauba hot shine” and even a “wall of foam.” Designers with the Baton Rouge, La., firm Mougeot Architecture opted to add a little extra to the building’s exterior, as well, installing metal panels in a diamond-shaped pattern that reflects the business’s name.

Petersen’s 24-gauge steel PAC-CLAD Highline Wall Panels in the B1 profile were selected for the project – more than 3,400 sq. ft. of them, in total – in a Weathered Zinc finish. The somewhat complex order called for the specific number of panels in the precise series of lengths, running from 3 ft. up to 13 ft., required to create the alternating-diamond pattern that runs across the building’s back wall. Skilled installation pros with St. Gabriel, La.-based Partin Roofing ensured the panels were cut so the angled reveals line up precisely.