The future we want: Turning gas stations into gyms and farm-to-table restaurants

Gym of the future
© Gensler and Reebok get pumped

Reebok and Gensler are onto something here in their “Get Pumped” partnership.

The gas station is going extinct in many cities; it is a low margin business and the land is too valuable, so they have all gone to condos. In New York City there is only one left south of 14th Street.

But in the not-too-distant future, many more cars will be electric and some think most will be autonomous. So Gensler Architects and Reebok had some fun suggesting that, instead of being prime locations for fuelling cars, we should “turn them into fuel for our bodies instead.”

closer than we think© Arthur Radebaugh

Of course, they have a little fun with their title, calling it The gym of the future is closer than we think, perhaps an allusion to Arthur Radebaugh's classic series.

The goal is a country where a healthy gym and restaurant are no more than a few miles away. “We envision our cities of the future to have a network of fitness oases between home and work where you could stop and recharge more than just your car. Imagine an option to leave the traffic jam to unwind with yoga, get your Crossfit Fix, or pick up a green juice and your weekly farm share all in one place!” said Alfred Byun, designer at Gensler.

Netowrk© Gensler and Reebok get pumped

The nation’s gas stations would be turned into the Network, with “the major, interstate rest stops as the power grid of the future. They’re a place where travelers can stop and generate energy through spinning and boxing, Crossfit, Les Mils, and a running trail.”

On highways, gas stations would turn into the Oasis, with recharging facilities, “real food offerings from a farm-to-table eatery to a juice bar, as well as yoga and meditation pods. The exterior will provide sustenance in the form of an herb garden, and outdoor wheels where you can run in the fresh air.”

In small towns, gas stations would turn into community centers. You could still charge and fix your car, but also “there will be nutrition classes. The minimart will offer local, healthy food, and pop-up trucks will offer rotating Crossfit and Spinning classes so there’s no lack of access for healthy options.”


Of course, Mr. Musk has other ideas that don’t sound quite as uplifting and healthy, but it is all very logical. People have to kill a bit of time while their cars charge up, so a farm to table eatery or a little spin class sounds like a great idea.

gas fightGas fight in Zoolander/Video screen capture

Better than condos. And certainly better than gas fights.

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