Road trips are never far from dull. From beautiful scenery to open road, the adventurous spirit to petrol stations. Yes, good ol’ filling stations, but not all have to be as boring as you imagine. Think saunas, hotel rooms, bottled-lined windows, quality restaurants and bespoke art.
With architecture and design in mind we have examined hundreds of entries from around the world and narrowed the world’s 10 best filling stations. We awarded these building masterpieces for their remarkable design, innovation and the structure’s relationship with its surroundings. These are the petrol stations worth pulling over for…
#1 REST AREA NIEMENHARJU | Location: Finland
Architect: Emma Johansson, Willem van Bolderen, Mikko Jakonen, Pauliina Kujala and Tiia Anttila
As our newest addition, this beautiful petrol station in Niemenharju is located on European highway E75 which runs from the South of Greece to North Cape all the way through to the North of Europe.
#2 POPS ARCADIA ROUTE 66 | Location: Oklahoma, USA
Architect: Elliott + Associates
With a country as vast and widely-spread as the USA, to stand out designers need to do something different, particularly when it comes to a rest stop on the renowned Route 66.
#3 BATUMI PETROL STATION + RESTAURANT | Location: Batumi, Georgia
Architect: Giorgi Khmaladze (Khmaladze Architects)
Perhaps one of the more impressive designs as far as petrol stations go, Khmaladze Architects has created a balanced environment for this gas station and food stop.
#4 A1 GAS STATION | Location: San Agustin de Guadalix, Spain
Architect: Belen Moneo & Jeff Brock
This stunning structure was constructed with the theory of landscape and motion in mind. The roof of the building is reminiscent of birds and clouds set between the sky and the earth or perhaps a moving ocean.
#5 ORIVAL GAS STATION | Location: Orival, Belgium
Architects: Samyn and Partners
A rest stop spanning the width of a highway in Orival, Belgium, stands out for its unique design from Samyn and Partners.
The practice imagined a multitude of designs for petrol stations across Europe for a project organised by oil company Petrofina. Labelled the ‘Fina 2010’ programme, this station is called ‘365-Fina Europe: Orival Service Station’.
#6 ESSO MOBIL STATION | Location: A6 Birstall, Leicestershire, UK
Architect: Eliot Noyes
Completed: 1978-79 (Designed late 1960s)
During the 1960s American architect Eliot Noyes redesigned the look of all Mobil gas stations where it achieved its iconic appearance with project ‘Pegasus’. While recruiting the help of graphic design firm Chermayeff & Geismar who redesigned the Mobil logo, Noyes came up with the bold red, white and blue colour schemes that became instantly recognisable, particularly on the side of a highway.
Successfully meeting the design brief of being immediately identifiable, the flying saucer-like parasols were created.
#7 HOUTEN SERVICE STATION | Location: The Netherlands
Architect: Samyn and Partners
Samyn and Partners are on a mission to redefine the mundane designs of the common service station, seeking to create prominent and inventive structures.
#8 HELIOS HOUSE | Location: LA, USA
Architect: Office dA; Johnston Marklee; Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG)
What’s surprising about Helios House is that it was perhaps the world’s first ‘green gas station’. Situated in Los Angeles, the building was constructed upon the site of a previous – and less environmentally friendly – gas station, and was built using up-cycled and new sustainable materials. As a result, it was the first gas station in the USA to be submitted for a LEED certification.
#9 WISSOL GAS STATION | Location: Gori, Georgia
Architect: J. Mayer. H
This intriguing gas station was part of a highway project commissioned by the head of the Roads Department of Georgia where J. MAYER. H Architects was to design 20 rest stops.
#10 UNION 76 BEVERLY HILLS | Location: LA, USA
Architect: Designer, Gin Wong/William Pereira + Associates
The structure originally built for Los Angeles International Airport echoes a futuristic spaceship, but today it shields people while filling their tanks.
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