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The dominating element of almost every single gas station around the world is a cantilevered roof, supported by pillars. These roofs don´t only provide covered and sheltered spaces for the clients, but also represents the company and can be seen as a design object. When we think of the future and the time when typical gas stations aren´t needed anymore the way they are today, it is worth thinking about the potential of those roofs. The roof and the pillars create a highly interesting architectural space. This doesn´t only relate to vibrant cities and urban areas, but also to more calm rural regions. How can we use these structures in a sustainable way and create places of interest for the people? How can they provide important infrastructures? How can the net of gas stations contribute spread all over the country contribute to supply people with everyday needs? And how can it give an additional value to the neighborhood? We propose to use the roofs of gas stations – the surface as well as the space underneath. The surfaces could be used as air taxi stations. As most gas stations are related to important traffic nodes, those stations can complement the existing ways of transportation with a new form of mobility. The stations can act as a hub point for different means of transportation. The roofs can also host urban farms or beehives in order to contribute to a sustainable and healthy environment. Trees and plants and flowers bring the roofs to live. The covered spaces underneath the roof offer perfect opportunities for cafés, restaurants or market stalls that sell regional products. The roof shelters and frames those activities. In order to refer to the long history of gas stations and auto mobility, they can also offer charging points for electric cars and bikes or bike parking facilities. This highlights modern means of traffic and mobility. Depending on the location - urban or rural, small or big, vibrant or calm - the uses can be adjusted to the needs of the people and the place itself which opens a wide range of different possibilities for every single gas station around the world. The roof symbolizes a new age in mobility and society.
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.bieker AG Frankfurt
Le Kai Commercial Space Design Division
University of Tasmania
Academy of Fine Arts, Gdansk