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U. of Applied Science Mainz

Project “Auftanken” - What can refueling be like in the future?

Issue
Every year, hundreds of petrol stations stop existing. Not only is a current oversupply a reason for this development, but also the change of time. Major market leaders have been upgrading additional offers that go beyond their original service. However, not every filling station is able to withstand society’s pressure and change their attachments. In the end, the lights are being switched off, the pumps removed and the tanks pumped dry – they have to close.
Today, such vacancies exist particularly at street filling station which are located at transport hubs or main roads. Their location is conveniently situated and omnipresent for everyone.

Concept
The project “Auftanken " takes the existence of vacant petrol stations, deals with one of the main aspects of pollution and even includes the current and very important issue „sustainability".
We feel the effects of climate change every day: But what can I change as a citizen? How can I actively be involved apart from demonstrating?

With the help of this concept, vacant petrol stations can be turned into public places that serve as a platform for knowledge exchange. Each customer - whether environmentally active in an organization or a rather passive citizen – has the chance of participating in the climate dialogue; this can happen through lectures, discussions or workshops which are offered there. Topics such as sustainable travel, nutrition, consumption or the production of sustainable goods of free-plastic cosmetics or cultivation of compost are only a selection of various possibilities for saving the environment step by step. Furthermore, current knowledge from research areas – such as microalgae for air improvement – could reach the public faster and can thus make more of a difference.

Design
“Auftanken” focuses on the idea of the society growing together as well as on the lifestyle of an environmentally more conscious way of living; this includes the spatial implementation.
The petrol stations are turned into greenhouses; the centre is surrounded by a translucent facade, which is actually a large mood board that offers enough space for various ideas. Furthermore, it even introduces the discussed topics to the public. In deliberate contrast to the old dirty fuel place, there is a bright yellow miniature duplication of a petrol station. This centre marks the place where people can come together. Thus, a long table and sufficient free space enable talks and discussions in a relaxed atmosphere.

The project should only be seen as a temporary solution until the actual demolition of these petrol stations is performed. The structure is therefore based on a modular system. In order to remain sustainable, the modules can be reused with the next and closest vacant filling station.

Conclusion
The project “Auftanken“ is of course not the solution to every problem concerning the environment. Nevertheless, it can be seen as an attempt to counteract climate change.
So get involved, join in and help fighting!

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