Spokane Journal of Business

Blue Room revs up for new project

Boutique architecture firm lands 'atypical' design job for new carmakers' facility

  • Print Article

Blue Room Architecture & Design PS, a Spokane-based boutique architectural firm, says it's designing a state-of-the art production, sales, and display facility for Shelby SuperCars LLC, in West Richland, Wash.

Blue Room, which occupies 1,800 square feet of space on the fourth floor of the Legion Building, at 108 N. Washington, specializes in designing healthcare facilities, says John McLean (no relation to the author).

"Every once in a while, we land something out of the ordinary," McLean says of the Shelby job.

Shelby SuperCars, a small, high-performance carmaker, claimed the title of manufacturer of the world's fastest production automobile in 2007 when its Ultimate Aero model recorded a speed of 256 mph. The title has since been claimed by European automaker Bugatti Veyron, which clocked in at 268 mph in 2010 with its Super Sport model.

Shelby SuperCars last week unveiled a new model that it says is designed to take back the speed title.

McLean says the 30,000-square-foot facility, planned about 150 miles southwest of Spokane, will be the first building on an envisioned campus that would be anchored by the carmaker. He declines to disclose the cost of the project, but says he expects work on it will begin in October.

"It's exciting and atypical for the area," McLean says. "It could have a big impact on economic development in an area where most people don't even know it exists."

McLean says he and wife Alyson, both architects, own the firm. Blue Room has two other employees, both of whom are interior designers, he says.

Blue Room also has an office in Ballard, Wash.

McLean says Blue Room, which obtains all of its jobs through referrals, has increased revenues every year for the last six years.

"We've bucked the trend," he says. "We've seen steady growth, with workloads increasing every year."

Blue Room's health-care clients include Kittitas Valley Community Hospital, in Ellensburg; Kadlec Regional Medical Center; in Richland; and other hospitals in Eastern Washington, McLean says.

Blue Room also designed the $1 million reconstruction project for the Arbor Crest Winery Cliff House, which involved rebuilding the historic mansion that was gutted by fire in late 2009.

"We've done other restorations, but that was one of the more significant projects," he says. "In Spokane, you have to be somewhat of a generalist."

Mike McLean
  • Mike McLean

  • Email Mike McLean
  • Follow RSS feed for Mike McLean

Deputy Editor Mike McLean has worked his entire journalism career in the Inland Northwest. Mike, who also lives to reel in fish and crank up music, has worked for the Journal since 2006.

Read More

Sign up for our E-mail updates

including the
Morning Edition

Join our list