Abandoned Gas Station Becomes a Restaurant

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

It's called the Filling Station: how appropriate. It used to be a shabby and abandoned gas station in London's King's Cross. And suddenly it's a stunning restaurant that does not want to be called a pop-up. Mainly because it is meant to be a semi-permanent building that will be there for two years before new homes are built in the rapidly gentrifying area.

The temporary nature of the building has inspired the architects Carmody Groarke. They have created a 200m-long and 4m-high curved fibreglass enclosure to separate the station from the busy street. The structure for the enclosure is constructed from scaffolding and fibreglass cladding modules that can be recycled at the end of the project.

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They have retained the existing canopy over the area where the gas pumps were located. This creates a covered outside space, almost like another room. It is planned that it will be turned into an outdoor cafe and performance space.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

The interior is where the store and cash desk were housed.

British Museum/CC BY 2.0

It has a wall of windows over looking the court and canal.

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

Located on a quiet stretch of the Regent's Canal, from the back you would never know that you are in central London. It's a lovely oasis of calm and beauty.

In architect speak it is described as thus: "The exterior references the modernist gas stations of midcentury California, think Edward Hopper's Nighthawks diner meets Edward Ruscha gas stations inside Philips Johnson's glass house under a Mies van der Rohe canopy, while the restaurant interior features new art commissions by Donald Urquhart and Jonathan Trayte."

Bonnie Alter/CC BY 2.0

How perfectly British: an Ercol bench and a Brompton folding bicycle.

Tags: Architecture | Food Security | London | Recycled Building Materials