The Eye

Is This the World’s Most Stylish Car Wash?

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Madrid-based architect Lina Toro revamped the interior of Burbucar, an established car wash on Costa Rica Street in Madrid.

The point of a car wash is to make your car look shiny and clean, but there’s no reason that the space itself can’t be stylish too. Madrid-based architect Lina Toro revamped the interior of Burbucar, an established car wash on Costa Rica Street in Madrid that looks like a set for a Pedro Almodóvar movie.

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Imagen Subliminal/Miguel de Guzman

The architect said in a project description that Burbucar “uses clean and innovative processes” and wanted to “visualize its philosophy by means of a renewed image.” The architect and her team managed to execute the renovation in a month without interrupting business at the busy car wash, which services 80 cars a day.

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Imagen Subliminal/Miguel de Guzman

The vibrant design emphasizes transparency with an open plan that allows customers to watch their cars being lathered up from big picture windows.

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Imagen Subliminal/Miguel de Guzman

A “purifying room” contains giant water tanks that allow 80 percent of the water to be recycled.

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Imagen Subliminal/Miguel de Guzman

Waiting spaces are outfitted with sleek modern furniture like a clear plastic hanging bubble chair and cheered up with plenty of indoor plants.

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Imagen Subliminal/Miguel de Guzman

The signature element of the redesign is a wash of bold blue epoxy paint that floods the entire 8,100-square-foot space on the ground floor of a seven-story building. “The monochrome background highlights the machinery’s and space’s backstage,” the architect said, adding that “conventionally hidden elements are revealed” and the brightly lit tunnel exposes “the beauty of the most industrial engineering.”

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Imagen Subliminal/Miguel de Guzman

And while it’s not quite an Almodóvar movie, if you want to see the photogenic car wash in action, check out the surreal project video below, produced by El Hijo Tonto.*

*Update, May 26, 2016: This post has been updated to include the name of the video producers.