Repsol service station - Norman Foster
Modern architecture is everywhere in our cities and landscapes, from simple houses to huge blocks of apartments, from public to commercial buildings. But, perhaps, one of the reasons why modern lines and concepts are so widespread and rooted in our minds is because they are present in even the most ordinary object. Even the great masters of modern architecture, such as Frank Lloyd Wright or Norman Foster, seperated by almost a century, didn't disdain projecting little things like... Service stations.
Humble gas stations took on bold dimensions and shapes, especially the roofs, for which the special ability of modern architects came in handy, when it came to working with materials such as reinforced concrete and iron. During the golden years of the car, these beautiful buildings of dynamic lines proliferated along roads and highways, as a toast to speed. Most of them have already been torn down and the lanscape is probably poorer for it.
Some remain, for convinience or for the fact that they were projected by masters of modern architecture, which turned them into cult objects and true gems. Who knows if, in the future, when there is no more oil, these buildings won't become actual museum pieces.
Service station in Cloquet, Minnesota - Frank Lloyd Wright
Service station in Hilversum, Netherlands (1935) - Willem Dudok
Service station in Sacramento
Service station in San Jose (1960)
Service station in Copenhagen (1935) - Arne Jacobsen
Service station in Nuns Island (1969) - Mies van der Rohe
Service station - Jean Prouvé