From ARCHITECT, November 2013
J. Mayer H. Architects in Georgia, by Ian Volner:
One of the most distinct features of the Georgian countryside is its gas stations: Almost all of them follow the same Soviet-era typology, a simple space-frame awning perched atop a boxy volume. With such a deeply entrenched (not to mention incredibly cheap) building mode already in place, it took a little doing to get the oil companies (such as Wissol Group and the State Oil Co. of the Azerbaijan Republic, or SOCAR) who funded the previous rest stops to see the wisdom of a new approach. “The idea was to be more specific and create unique designs for different sites in Georgia,” says Mayer; it’s easy to see the Gori buildings’ peaks and valleys as reflections on the Caucasus ridge that surrounds them, though as in other projects, Mayer had a more nebulous analogy in mind. “We thought of them more as of driftwood sitting next to this new river,” he says, “the highway, that runs through the country.” Log or landscape, the two structures are intended to be part of a sequence of as many as 20 such stations throughout Georgia.
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