In an era where they only pump your gas in New Jersey, the glory days of the gas station seem extinct – the task and the place, monotonous. But even in Los Angeles, a city of stars, it’s quite a surprise to see this geometric gem. At the corner of Olympic and Robertson lies the most stylish gas station in LA.
The project officially known as ‘Helios House’ was designed by OfficeDA Architects. While the station houses an array of solar panels on its roof to reduce the building’s carbon footprint, it serves the environment far past the earth. Architecture seeks recognition from LEED and AIA, but this gas station achieves more. Yes it has all the tools to make it ‘green’ environmentally, but by focusing on that we forget to mention it’s achievements with people.
Getting gas here is an experience. It is fun. The structure differing per spot allows your experience to change each visit. Instead of searching for the cheapest station in the hopes of saving a couple of pennies, Los Angeleans search for this station to spice up their day.
Public architecture is often seen as parks and public buildings. Very rarely can we call a gas station public art and even rarer that it is dubbed “beautiful,” but Helios House is the precedent. Gas stations are a necessity for the civilians of a car-centric city, and this station is an ode to its people.
All images by Nicole Stankus
Nicole Stankus finds herself an architecture student at the University of Texas at Austin. Her interests lie past academia, expanding the idea of an architecture of buildings to include the architecture of society and people. How people interact with the city they live in is of particular interest to her and her writing. Seeing the world passionately and always seeking moments of urban ecstasy, Nicole looks to highlight the magical moments of great cities.