United Oil Gasoline Station / Kanner Architect


Architects: Kanner Architects
Location: Los Angeles, , USA
Architect in Charge: Stephen H. Kanner
Project team: Damian Lemons, Nicolas O.S. Marques, Jay Fukuzawa, Clare Olsen, John Mebasser, Claudia Wiehen, Lincoln Tobier, Stephane Corbel
Client: United Oil
Project Area: 630.8 sqm
Project year: 2009
Photographs: John Linden & Nicolas O.S. Marques

unitedoil_04 unitedoil_10 unitedoil_13 unitedoil_17

Situated at La Brea and Slauson avenues in Los Angeles’s Mid-City neighborhood, the United Oil Gas Station is a marriage of the city’s historic love affair with the automobile and today’s modern one-stop shopping spirit of immediate gratification and convenience.

site plan
site plan


The daring and active design seeks to resuscitate a streetscape through integration of a 12-pump gas station, mini-market and car wash. The resulting structure is an original machine of vehicular form and function.


Reminiscent of Southern California’s ubiquitous freeway interchanges, two planes soar from the ground. One, a concrete ramp, takes patrons up and over the rear of the mini-market and back down into a car wash. The second, a sinuous and curvilinear metal structure, swoops down from the sky to serve as the roof of the mini-market. The form regains an upward momentum that carries it around the front of the market where it becomes a 30-foot canopy over the pumps.

Cite: "United Oil Gasoline Station / Kanner Architect" 27 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=36062>
  • isla

    please archdaily increase the post´s leveeeeeellll

  • 2MACoff


    • Andrey


      • Вася

        Охуеть блять. Русские и сюда полезли.

  • guy

    Ooh look at the snack aisle!

    Really guys? a gas station? really.

    • cad

      what’s next, a bus stop?

    • Thuyle Van

      so what? no matter how big it is. we can learn from its architecrue form, can u do it? make a gas station more attractive?

  • Jesse

    It would of been interesting to see them dealing with petrol/cars in unique way, eg in a more sustainable manner.

    Sexy building, but what about the underlying problem of pollution?

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  • Juan Gomez-Velez

    I feel that the most important thing an architect can do is to strive to transform the image of the banal, listless structures of everyday life. Those who wish for mind boggling ideas and overwhelming inner meaning brought to fruition deliberately are usually disheartened by lesser endeavors. I for one am a modest practitioner, that sees every new project as an opportunity to try to address a building program or building type in a new way……and find it to be very difficult goal to reach. Architecture is not only graphic nor three dimensional expressionism, it’s something that we build for others, that need a place for a particular purpose and are willing and able to pay for it. To find a sponsor, a client….willing to explore and finance something different is certainly not easy. This is something different, made in the same spirit that we would call upon for a larger project, something difficult to represent, to sell and to build and most probably unprofitable both for the designer as well as the client while remaining in any case an extremely time consuming and expensive solution. Given that, what do we see? A curved canopy, an oblong glazed enclosure and a rather interesting formal composition, as seen from a car. If this was the intention, to be striking, different and memorable, was the designer successful? Any comments?

  • http://www.sunflowerdesigns.hu/ Andrew Geber

    this should be the minimum :)

  • PB

    Wish more gas stations were architecturally designed…Still, I agree, the station does little to solve or mitigate the problems facing LA (pollution, over dependance on the automobile, disregard for the pedestrian, etc)…..

    I do think the concept and design is quite attractive and well executed. I agree, this should be the minimum.

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  • Dan

    Great Building! Leave it up to the environmentalists to complain about the damage they think we’re doing to the planet. They should keep their religious fanaticism to themselves, and just enjoy the architecture.

    • matt


  • Gergana

    Reminds me of the Fountainhead by Ayn Rand…
    Nice work though

  • http://www.garalysoka.com oscar falcón lara

    Well I find it quite brilliant, environmental issues aside, it’s actually a cool design, full of eye catching detail… It may not be too profound but it sure is fun, something I see many people in the practice not having, which shouldn’t be. Is this place Exuberant?, sure… excessive?, maybe… fun?, most definitely. What’s wrong with that? nothing, and it was built, there.

  • http://black-berry.ru vL

    Отличная идея и как всегда отличное европейское воплощение. Приятно видеть, когда проект реализован без компромиссов и купюр. Молодцы.

  • RQH

    This is a beautiful project.

    I’m a bit confused by what you idealists expect from an architect. Was Steve Kanner supposed to beg United Oil to start selling hydrogen fuel cells instead of gasoline? They were approached to design a gasoline station so they designed one. And it’s excellent.

  • Juan Gomez-Velez

    It seems that the answer to my question is…. yes!, the designer was successful in creating a striking,different and memorable solution.
    As our profession is usually anonymous and almost entirely lacking in positive feedback (Actors are applauded or booed immediately once the curtain falls, architects may wait for years for any sort of reaction) I feel a word of cheer and camaraderie is in order for a job well done.

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    COOL! What happens to it when there’s no oil in 20 years?? Maybe a chic new LA home?

  • rise

    so cool… very inovative…

  • Alice

    Does anybody knows what is the material of the borders of the roof? how did he get such a continuous apearence to that border?

  • Jackie

    What talent the design team has! They did an excellent job in creating a functional structure with a unique design. I look forward to see the more projects!

  • http://blanca@paadvisors.com blanca Harrison

    Jeff Appel – did you attend Bothell High School for one year or so in 1976?

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  • http://shedplansandwoodworking.com/ Jim@ shed plans

    Great architectural design. The interior and exterior are just awesome. A model for all gas stations out there.

  • http://www.mintat.co.uk Marcello M. Minale

    Nice design. I like how the sinuous canopy structure takes stylistic cue from the United Oil logotype.