3RD PRIZE – FILL UP HERE BY ALEX COX

JURY’S COMMENTS: By placing people at the center of the design rather than vehicles, Fill Up Here shifts focus from present-day filling stations to those of the future. The increasing fuel efficiency of modern cars will slowly but surely put emphasis on refueling the travelers themselves rather than their vehicles. The function of the service station – whether it is to store fuel, serve food, or house people – is adapted to the pod. This opens up an interesting discussion about whether or not architecture should adapt to the user or if the user should be expected to adapt to the architecture. While the “one size fits all” approach never seems to be the most ideal – it always requires so much compromise – it is convincing as a viable solution to any site. It deals with the activities that these pods can provide for an uncertain future, without focusing on the design too much – even though it has been considered in terms of dimensions of these activities. Another benefit of the pod approach is its allowing for technological changes in the future while still providing for a clear vision of the filling station and its accoutrements. Presentation-wise, the proposal does a great job of showing, rather than telling, through carefully selected vignettes. And while the graphic style is distinctly playful on the surface, the proposal reveals a deep understanding of the brief.

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