We haven't seen many gas stations that are cool enough to be turned into an art gallery, but this mid-century modern gas station in Berlin had just the right amount of pizazz to make the transition. After years of passing by the abandoned Shell gasoline station in the city’s Schöneberg district, artist Juerg Judin bought the place and transformed it with the help of local firm BFS Design over the next few years. He renovated the original station, added a new kitchen, built a new wing, and created a lush, landscaped garden with a lily pond. The renovated gas station now serves as Judin's artist-in-residence studio.
The Shell station was built in 1956, but it was abandoned in 1986 and sat empty until it was bought in 2005 by Juerg Judin. Over the next 3 years Judin worked to rehabilitate the station. He decontaminated the site by adding sand to the old tanks, removed coal residue and more. Then he with the help of BFS Design he renovated the structure into a live/work space with a fancy kitchen inside the old auto shop. Judin made every effort to stay true to the original design – this included salvaging tiles, replacing the curved windows with more efficient ones, and repainting the original red trim.
The renovation of the gas station resulted in a live/work space of 93 sm (970 sq ft), but Judin felt he needed more space, so he added an addition directly adjacent to the original structure. This trapezoidal, two-story structure holds a living room, a wall of books, a guest room, and a bathroom on the ground floor, with a studio and exhibition space upstairs. A transparent facade allows soft white light to filter through and fill the space with loads of natural daylighting. Outside, Judin transformed the concrete yard into a lush garden complete with a lily pond. The original awning still sands and serves as a shaded pavilion and an oversized sculpture.
Images ©Annette Kisling