les architectes FABG: mies van der rohe gas station conversion
les architectes FABG: mies van der rohe gas station conversion les architectes FABG: mies van der rohe gas station conversion
feb 23, 2012

les architectes FABG: mies van der rohe gas station conversion

canadian firm les architectes FABG have redeveloped a mies van der rohe heritage site into a youth and senior activity center as a tribute to the iconic architect.
previously a gas station, the building on nuns’ island had not been in use since 2008. two large volumes, which once functioned as a car service area and sales point, are connected by a low steel roof, uniting the structure. although all the components have been kept and restored, the site serves a different purpose overall.

curtain window elevation
image © steve montpetit (also main image)



due to the flexible nature of the programming, large volumes have been left open with foldable and reconfigurable furniture. the senior group occupies the larger, white room, while the younger users are in the smaller, black area. the two opposite ends are united by a low steel cantilevered roof. ‘the project is not about the faithful restoration of a monument. it is an interpretation trying to touch and communicate the essence of an artistic vision formulated by someone else in response to a world that is no longer the same. musicians do this every day.’ – les architectes FABG

view from under cantilevered roof 
image © steve montpetit



originally, the beams and columns were made of welded steel plates painted black and contrasted with a white enameled steel deck and bare fluorescent tubes. this envelope needed to be dismantled and repaired by replacing the curtain walls, adding fresh paint and repointing the brick work. another architectural challenge was to integrate the new electrical needs without damaging the value of the building’s heritage. the geothermal wells underneath are used for most of the heating and cooling needs. what appear to be gas pumps are actually air in-take and out-take devices, linked to new HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. together, the modern solutions simplify the structure, while integrating the original design.

centered service area 
image © steve montpetit

view from inside 
image © steve montpetit

continuous ceiling beams and lighting recall the iconic architect’s building style
image © steve montpetit

night view 
image © steve montpetit

original esso gas station 
image © lolic

site plan

floor plan / level 0
101 – senior activity centre
102 – storage
103 – kitchen
104 – coat room
105 – office
106 – entry hall
107 – mechanical room
201 – youth activity centre
202 – office 
203 – entry hall
204 – storage




project info:


official title: reconversion de la station service de mies van der rohe à l’Île des soeurs
location: 201 rue berlioz, verdun, québec
cleint: arrondissement de verdun
architect: eric gauthier
team: marc paradis, dominique potvin, jaime lopez, steve montpetit
engineers: aecom
builder: norgéreq
cost: 1.4 million CAD 
completion: septembre 2011

  • wow


    dbkii says:
  • So pure

    Traditionless says:
  • its very nice, though it seems like something beneath his range, yet unexpected, and an improvement going against the shabby association you receive when someone mentions a gas station…

    maasym says:

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