September 27, 2022

Blog @ Munaf Sheikh

Latest news from tech-feeds around the world.

architects imagine the electric fueling station of the future as roadside oasis


gas stations without the gas 

 

with countries and automakers pledging to go all-electric in the not-so-distant future, it won’t just mean a change to the cars we drive, but also to the vital infrastructure that keeps us on the road. but what will gas stations look like without the gas? well, an international competition launched by electric autonomy canada has revealed what these electric fueling stations could look like.

 

the competition called for architects and designers to reimagine the highway gas station of today as a roadside oasis to recharge both visitors and EVs. the design call was launched in partnership with parkland, a canadian gas station operator that’s going to build the winning scheme as part of its EV charging strategy in british columbia. see the first, second and third prize projects below.


1st prize — ‘more with less’ by james silvester

images courtesy of electric autonomy canada

 

 

1st prize — ‘more with less’

 

architect james silvester from edinburgh, scotland, has been awarded first place with a wooden pavilion named ‘more with less’. the scheme is designed like a circuit, punctuated with activities and relaxation courtyards that invite nature in. the timber-framed canopy extends over the charging zones to provide shelter from the rain or shade from the sun.

 

sustainable architecture practices are integrated throughout, from rooftop solar panels to help power the commercial facilities to a cantilevered design that minimizes heat gain during canadian summers, yet allows the building to maximize the use of daylight. the building is not simply there to serve a process on the journey, but to provide a space to relax and enjoy.

architects imagine the electric fueling station of the future as roadside oasis
1st prize — ‘more with less’ by james silvester

 

 

the modular design allows the station to adapt flexibly to different sites: a rural location may have a cafe and washrooms while a commuter hub could become a larger facility with everything from an arcade to shops. a gym can even be added to larger hubs for those wanting to work out while they wait.

 

digital signage directs arriving passengers to available charging bays for a seamless experience that increases safety by minimizing circulation. at night, LED lighting illuminates the roof and showcases the timber structure.

 

‘you could easily run away with a project like this and design something that’s more theoretical and out there, but I wanted to understand what this could be today. it’s a stick in the sand. not fireworks and glitz and glam but something that’s of its time: very modern in its form but with pared-back, natural materials. there’s a rhythm in the timber. it’s about relaxation after a long journey,’ said james silvester about his competition winning project.

architects imagine the electric fueling station of the future as roadside oasis
1st prize — ‘more with less’ by james silvester

 

 

2nd prize — ‘the circle’

 

istanbul-based fabric.a architects has been awarded second place with a vibrant meeting point for EV owners named ‘the circle’. the circular wooden canopy defines a protected central courtyard and constructs the spaces around it. this creates an inner oasis off the highway, surrounded by charging points. two separate pavilions covered with mirrored surface panels and glass façades aim to blur the boundaries between indoors and out.

 

the overall experience is divided into five different zones: charging and parking, a food court with washrooms and service areas, an indoor space designed for play for kids and adults, a shopping pavilion with multiple stores and, at the heart of the complex, a richly landscaped outdoor public space for people to enjoy and interact. designed as a new landmark for sustainability, the angled green roof integrates solar panels as a clean energy source.

architects imagine the electric fueling station of the future as roadside oasis
2nd prize — ‘the circle’ by fabric.a architects

architects imagine the electric fueling station of the future as roadside oasis
2nd prize — ‘the circle’ by fabric.a architects

 

 

3rd prize — ‘plug and play’

 

pavel babiienko from berlin, germany, won third prize with ‘plug and play’. built on modular units, the layout of the electric charging station can be flexibly planned in almost any order and size to create closed or open spaces for specific functions, with visitors moving freely indoors and outdoors. clever integration of signage and wayfinding allows visitors to see the state of their charge at a glance in the pull-up parking zones.

 

the concept provides not only the familiar services of a store and cafe, but can also allow for a longer break from the road. families can spend time with their children in the outdoor playground, chatting with other visitors, while a library or bookshop can also help pass the time.

architects imagine the electric fueling station of the future as roadside oasis
3rd prize — ‘plug and play’ by pavel babiienko

 

 

tall roadside signage harkens back to gas stations of the past, giving the charging hub a more familiar feel from the road, despite the structure’s radical departure from tradition. overhead lighting relays the charging status of the vehicles at a glance, glowing red while refueling.

 

since fueling zones do not need to be separate, visitors can pull right up to the station, creating safer transitions for children and pets on arrival. natural materials such as light-colored timber are favored to generate a sense of rest and relaxation.

architects imagine the electric fueling station of the future as roadside oasis
3rd prize — ‘plug and play’ by pavel babiienko

 

 

the winning projects were selected from 100 entries from all over the world. these three winners will be awarded $40,000 CAD in total prize money between them. 

 

‘from turkey to kazakhstan, poland to portugal and china to canada, our team and jury was overwhelmed with the quality of submissions from around the globe,’ said nino di cara, founder and president, electric autonomy canada.

‘we’re confident that the concepts will spark a holistic rethinking – from the ground up – of the unique refuelling requirements and opportunities of EVs versus gas vehicles. it demonstrates great leadership that parkland has committed to build the winning design.’

 

‘our intent is to progress the dialogue and future design elements through the lens of an electric vehicle customer, rather than through the restrictions of a retrofitted design that was originally built to meet a different customer need,’ commented ian white, senior vice president of parkland and competition jury member.

 

wilf steimle, president of the electric vehicle society and competition jury member, added,‘the gas stations of today are not nice places to stop and hang out for 20 or 30 or 40 minutes. and if we’re going to entice people to move to electric, I think part of this exercise is envisioning something that really is appealing, that is going to draw people in.’

 

 

1/10

1st prize — ‘more with less’ by james silvester

1st prize — ‘more with less’ by james silvester

1st prize — ‘more with less’ by james silvester

1st prize — ‘more with less’ by james silvester

1st prize — ‘more with less’ by james silvester

1st prize — ‘more with less’ by james silvester

1st prize — ‘more with less’ by james silvester

1st prize — ‘more with less’ by james silvester

2nd prize — ‘the circle’ by fabric.a architects

2nd prize — ‘the circle’ by fabric.a architects

2nd prize — ‘the circle’ by fabric.a architects

2nd prize — ‘the circle’ by fabric.a architects

3rd prize — ‘plug and play’ by pavel babiienko

3rd prize — ‘plug and play’ by pavel babiienko

3rd prize — ‘plug and play’ by pavel babiienko

3rd prize — ‘plug and play’ by pavel babiienko

3rd prize — ‘plug and play’ by pavel babiienko

3rd prize — ‘plug and play’ by pavel babiienko

3rd prize — ‘plug and play’ by pavel babiienko

3rd prize — ‘plug and play’ by pavel babiienko

project info:

 

competition name: the electric fuelling station of the future

competition organizer: electric autonomy canada

competition sponsor: parkland



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