He went the extra mile

Take a moment and think about your typical gas station experience. Most of us wait until our tank is empty and begrudgingly find the nearest station. We pull up to a dirty pump, we watch a little TV, and we make a speedy exit. We panic if we actually have to enter the convenience store.

Architect Kevin Oreck’s design of United Oil’s Chevron Station is worth driving that extra mile to experience. Kevin’s design solutions are elegant, inviting, nature-driven and sustainable. While pumping gas look up; the canopy was created using black photovoltaic solar panels sandwiched between layers of glass. The effect is much like dappled sunlight filtered through a tree. When it’s time to pay walk towards the folded plates of cascading glass that end in a river-like fountain of recycled water. Entering the store is like walking through a waterfall where lights from the fountain project a reflective pattern on the glass. Above, energy efficient glass tube lights hang down from the ceiling providing soft illumination mimicking the effect of falling drops of water. Below, modern custom-designed shelving units wrap around built-in planters.

Surrounding the store is Landscape Architect Jamie Schwentker’s lush drought resistant landscaping, making the station even more environmentally friendly. The subtle beauty of the station was not compromised by over whelming branding. It was a challenge for the architect to convince Chevron, but congratulations to all for the use of a graphically simple and subtly beautiful use of the identifiable blue and red chevron painted on glass and placed between the pumps.

Kevin credits United Oil [owners] for thinking differently and going that extra mile. The gas station is located in Cerritos at 17255 Bloomfield Avenue at Artesia.