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philippe starck launches hydrogen refueling station in polished steel at dubai’s COP28

HRS taps Philippe Starck to design hydrogen refueling station


A fancy hydrogen refueling station? Philippe Starck gives a thumbs up by crafting one made of reflective polished steel, turning his collaborative creation with hydrogen mobility company HRS into a gleaming cabinet box of hydrogen. The unveiling takes place at the opening of COP28 at Expo City Dubai, and visitors can test out the HRS hydrogen refueling station between November 30th and December 12th, 2023.


The first hydrogen dispensers will be installed from 2024 on, for both HRS14 (200 kilos per day) and HRS40 (1 tonne per day) stations. In a nutshell as some research claims, hydrogen gas is seen as an alternative to fuels since unlike them, hydrogen generates water instead of carbon dioxide when burned, leading to zero contributions to climate change. For the polished steel hydrogen refueling station, Philippe Starck drew his design cues from hydrogen itself. He sees it as a clean component, an association with clarity and nothingness.


It was clear to him that HRS by STARCK would be a dematerialized hydrogen refueling station, a smart-looking device that embodies no particular style or design and can mimic the essence of disappearance. In a way, it dissolves from the viewers’ line of sight at first by the way the lucid surface mirrors the surroundings. Without the strip of sunset orange that peers inside the dispenser, visitors may think there is no dispenser at all.

philippe starck HRS hydrogen refueling station cop28 dubai
images by STARCK



Hydrogen dispenser in polished steel at dubai’s COP28


As Philippe Starck adds, HRS’ hydrogen refueling station appears almost invisible, a gift of the polished stainless steel that wraps around the dispenser. Even at the HRS booth in COP28 in Dubai, the station just bounces the reflection back to its surroundings, refusing to project a permanent image around its glossy canvas. One way Philippe Starck can describe his collaborative project with HRS is a mirror with a window, and as the visitors peek inside, they can see that the interior is almost empty too.


Here, a few optical effects are in place which Philippe Starck explains as dichroism. ‘That makes this nothingness change color,’ he says. ‘HRS BY STARCK is elegant and intelligent energy, at the service of hydrogen, which is the minimum that gives the maximum, serving people and the future.’ The hydrogen manufacturer HRS showcases the Philippe Starck-designed hydrogen refueling station at a central stand in the COP28 Green Zone at Expo City Dubai, which responds to the event’s brief of dedication to energy transition technologies, innovation, and decarbonization.

philippe starck HRS hydrogen refueling station cop28 dubai
close-up view of the pumps

philippe starck HRS hydrogen refueling station cop28 dubai
the car is reflected on the polished-steel surface of Philippe Starck’s HRS hydrogen refueling station

philippe starck HRS hydrogen refueling station cop28 dubai
a sunset-orange window peeks inside the dispenser

philippe starck HRS hydrogen refueling station cop28 dubai
HRS’ hydrogen refueling station at COP28 in Dubai


Philippe Starck’s sketch of the hydrogen refueling station

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