Gas Station Design – The World’s 10 Best Filling Stations for 2017

#5 Orival Gas Station

Location: Orival, Belgium

Architects: Samyn and Partners

Completed: 2001

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'.

Image: Geertrui Derycke

This gas station provides passers-by with a place to rest in cultural environment. The rest stop hosts temporary exhibitions of young, local painters and sculptors, or the works of an array of academies. These works are arranged in the surrounding landscaped parks in the deceleration drives off the motorway and in picnic areas.

The building housing the catering area bridges across the highway and extends on either side with two cantilevered awnings - sheltering the service stations. Four secondary awnings suspended under the cantilevers of the principal lattice girders provide further support in protecting the motorway stations.

Image: Christian Richters

Two 210m-long Warren Truss girders are tapered at the ends and sit on two supports 70m apart from one another.

Curved service roads on both sides of the highway add aesthetics and safety to the area - where various curves subtly encourage drivers to adapt their speed.

Comprehensive glazing has been implemented on the vertical walls of the bridge and the two volumes, between the piers, containing the vertical circulations.

Image: Philippe SAMYN and PARTNERS, architects & engineers

The project was tailored to sustainable architecture principles, including a respectful relationship with the environment, low energy consumption and low operating and maintenance costs. Given its composition of aluminium, the structure is highly insulated and reflects light diffusely.

The project was constructed during 1998-2001 and has a total of 59,000sq m and a built area of 3,411sq m.

Main image credit: Christian Richters

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