In a list of building types that are the least regarded architecturally, surely gas stations are present if not right at the top. Design seems to be set aside in favor of economy and signage, but the redesign of Rompetrol's Litro stations by Eight Inc. admirably combines formal minimalism with colored lighting to come up with something refreshingly different. The designers answered a few questions about the project.
What were the circumstances of receiving the commission for this project?
Saffron, who held the client relationship and was responsible for the branding of the new Rompetrol gas station, brought Eight Inc. on board to help reinvent the gas station experience.
Please provide an overview of the project.
The Litro service station, designed by Eight Inc., brings a refreshed, contemporary environment to the traditional gas station concept. By using colored light, the architects aimed to embody the spirit of the new Rompetrol brand, Litro, conceived by Saffron Brand consultants. The design of the station reflects the playful identity through its use of light and incorporation of reflective and streamlined materials. The distinctive, ultra-thin canopy highlights the dynamic, indirect lighting and the signage, which is illuminated by color-changing LEDs. Fueling is designed on a bias, and was implemented to improve the efficiency and ease of entering and exiting.
What are the main ideas and inspirations influencing the design of the building?
The idea was to eliminate the typical gas station roof and create the thinnest and lightest possible roof. The designed thin canopy integrates seamlessly into the landscape, provides protection against sun, rain and snow and also serves as LED- illuminated reflector. The brand logo, a three dimensional manifestation of an oil drop, beautifully complements the thin structure of the canopy and becomes an iconic feature that can be seen far from distance.
Rendering of approach
How does the building relate to contemporary architectural trends, be it sustainability, technology, etc.?
Thoughtful, intelligent design. Responsive to the needs of its task. Minimal material use. Energy-saving LED lighting.
Structural diagram of canopy deflection
How did you approach designing for the locations in Europe and how would you describe the process of working on the project there?
We (Eight Inc.) are immersing ourselves in the culture of each of our clients in order to respond in the most thoughtful way to their needs and to create the best design experience. With offices around the world, we do not see ourselves as purely “American”, we are designers that create human-centered experiences with a local approach on a global level.
Section and elevation/剖面图与正面图
How would you describe the architecture of Southern Europe and how does the building relate to it?
We (Eight Inc.) always strive to create new and meaningful experiences. By reinventing the gas station experience we tried to be considerate of the natural surrounding and created something visually beautiful but lightweight so it integrates seamlessly into the environment, but stood out from the gas station status quo.
Rendering of service island/ 加油处效果图
Section of service island/ 加油处剖面
Totem family illustration/ 加油指示牌展示
Totem detail /加油指示牌细节