COBE architects are turning charging time into quality time.
Gasoline filling stations are rarely beautiful. They are often polluted and smelly from gas and oil and they are not places where you'd want to hang around.
Electric filling stations are a different story. There are no fumes, and you have to hang around while the car charges. That's why the filling station designed by Danish architecture firm COBE is so clever. It is even designed for a company called CLEVER, which provides charging solutions. The architects note that "the new ultra-fast charging stations will not just be places where you efficiently can charge your car, but where you can also recharge your own batteries."
“Electric vehicles are the future. In our design, we want to offer drivers a much-needed and meaningful break in a green oasis. The energy and the technology are green, and we want the architecture, the materials and the concept to be green as well. Therefore, we’ve designed a sculptural charging station which can either stand alone or be incorporated with other facilities,” says Dan Stubbergaard, architect and Founder of COBE.
The charging stations are designed like trees, with crowns designed to create a "green environment with a calming atmosphere." A big charging facility will be more like a forest. Of course the top of the tree is covered with solar panels which will help charge the cars. But down below will be plants and trees; Clever is even collaborating with The Danish Society for Nature Conservation in picking the plants, to foster the biodiversity and attract more butterflies.
It's a nice idea that I suspect we will see many variations on – people have time to kill and marketers will figure out ways to help them kill it. But in the meantime, this concept is lovely and laid back, designed to be "an evocative and Zen-like experience."
“Time is precious, and we want to ensure that the time that people spend at our charging stations is a meaningful break for them. With the new stations, we are creating a space where, in addition to charging your car, you will also be able to recharge your own mental and physical batteries. In the 20 minutes that it usually takes to charge a car, you will be able to relax and have some fresh air, enjoy a cup of coffee, make phone calls or use some of the digital options available,” says Marie Kristine Schmidt, CXO at CLEVER.
Of course, when it comes to North America, it will turn from a park into a commercial opportunity, a mini-mall and a fast food stand. Twenty minutes is more than enough time for that.