Harper Auto Wash

At the Harper Auto Wash in Alcoa, BarberMcMurry worked closely with Harper and Mahalo Coffee to design an auto wash and coffee shop that leverages common industrial materials that are composed and detailed to create a clean, modern architectural solution. The design delivers a luxury customer experience without a luxury construction budget, respecting the beauty inherent in simple materials and architecturally elevating the typical "car wash" program.

On the exterior, corrugated metal siding features a randomized profile and color pattern that floats above a base of exposed concrete block and storefront. The limited material palette is further embellished with a white and gray color striation deployed to invoke a dynamic feeling of movement across the building's elevation.

"The project reimagines an often overlooked building typology by creating a richly layered environment that resonates on many levels: scale, program, materiality, economy, and narrative."

— AIA East Tennessee Awards Jury, 2022

The plan is conceived as a simple rectangle — with the wash and finishing bays positioned along the lengths of the building, and the Mahalo Coffee shop and customer lounge centrally located between each bay. The coffee shop is bracketed with expansive floor-to-ceiling windows to capture shared daylight. The staggered acoustic baffles and lighting draw inspiration from the automotive world — creating a sense of movement in the space. The attention-grabbing wood slats at the coffee kiosk add warmth and a biophilic element to the clean, minimalist aesthetic. 

    Completion Date: 2022

    Type: New Construction

    Location: Alcoa, Tennessee

    Services: Architecture, Interior Design

    Use: Commercial / Office


    • 2022 ArchDaily
    • 2022 AIA East Tennessee Honor Award
    • 2023 AIA Tennessee Merit Award

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