Hoisting the Flag: Chevron Flagship Gas Station Gets New Look

Gas stations are not often considered feats of modern architecture. Newer stations may have more glass or a cleaner look to them, but for the stations themselves to be works of art, well, few can claim that distinction. One gas station is challenging that thought, though. The flagship Chevron Gas station in Los Angeles recently underwent a complete renovation and it’s glassy, new look is one that is hard to miss.

glasproForEllenAGG2formattedA modern aesthetic was achieved with the extensive use of glass in the façade, which came at the request of Chevron.

“The idea of using glass came from the client,” explains architect Kevin Oreck. “When he approached me he wanted to do something with glass, but what, exactly, was not clear. We decided early on that the front face of the building would be all glass with no exposed metal, which was a challenge, to say the least.”

The challenge in designing the storefront was matched only by the challenge of making it. More than 100 lites of glass each had to be cut, polished and laminated–precisely and individually.

“Typically we approach those challenges by utilizing CNC technology, which allows us to hold very tight tolerances,” says Joe Green, owner of GlasPro, the Santa Fe Springs, Calif.-based fabricator that created the façade glazing.

According to information from GlasPro, “the facade features a complex, three-dimensional design of polished glass panels utilizing a range of sizes and shapes to achieve a modern sophisticated effect.”

“To utilize what is basically canopy technology and modify it to create a translucent storefront is really, really interesting,” adds Green.

An interesting façade becomes even more so when one understands the meaning behind the modern look.

“My approach was to use the glass to represent water. So the front of the building is like a waterfall, hence the fountain that runs the length of the building. The glass theme continues with the glass tile and glass display gondolas on the inside of the store, the glass solar panels on the canopy over the pumps, and the glass Chevron signs between the columns of the canopy,” says Oreck.

Those Chevron signs between the canopy columns are pretty special in their own right, too.

“What’s unique about that particular signage is that no matter where you’re standing, it looks the same; it reads the same from both sides. It’s unusual. It’s a double-sided, high resolution graphic sandwiched between glass. We had to find an innovation to create an opaque central barrier that would allow the image to read the same on both sides but still appear as though it is floating. Additionally, we had to maintain close color continuity. This is Chevron and they are an organization that is very much in touch with their brand and the colors needed to be consistent and correct,” explains Green.

While it’s unlikely that gas stations across the country will copy the look any time soon, the flagship Chevron gas station sets the bar for what one can look like with the right glass design.