*notcot in tech , 16:02

BP Helios House- 03.11.07

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If you want to talk green… or have the ultimate green fieldtrip ~ who would have thought you’d head to a gas station? Yes, this is the latest green project from BP ~ the Helios House. There are pictures of it in the day around the internet, but the way it looked as we drove by last night was just bizarre to say the least… almost like a disneylandish geary gone wrong? (it reminded me a lot of the plastic ice xmas trees and such at 3rd street promenade)… visually, it certainly makes you stop and think, WTF? as you pass the intersection of Olympic and Robertson.

Conceptually, this is brilliant though… an unique and powerful way to educate, encourage, and demonstrate what you can do when you think green. They have worked in everything from a green roof on the bathroom, farmed wood, motion sensor lights, solar panels, recycled glass in concrete floors, led lighting, recycling bins, and far more (see the site, and charts below for more details). They have even taken over the billboard on both sides, currently reading “a little better… gas station”… complete with the grass motif on the underside of the billboards as well. It really felt a bit like tomorrowland in old school disneyland style. Also great was watching the guys who worked there scrub down every scuff, scratch, smear on any part of the gas station almost immediately…

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The bathrooms are lit amazingly… and they even have a garden above them…
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The gas pumps are all labeled GOOD, BETTER, BEST… complete with graphic design that feels like a mix of circuit board diagrams and leaves…
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At the gas station ~ complete with a very competent and knowledgeable staff… are some great print materials… below is the before shot of the Olympic and Robertson intersection, and with a full breakdown on the flipside of just how green this whole structure is. (click all to view larger)

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Additionally there were a series of postcard sized pieces printed on paper which can be soaked, then planted! (its the recycled paper with seeds pressed into it)… these had some pointers on how to help save the world…

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More images in the NOTCOT Gallery.

Also for pictures in the day… LAist has some great shots… personally i think its much more dramatic at night ~ but here;s a nice pic of the signage as well.
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12 Notes

i went to see this station in la right after it opened- my aunt works for bp and this was one of her main projects as well as the a little better commercials— i really think it is a great way to spread awareness about our environment through gas stations, where it will make people think about the environment as they fill up their gas- guzzling cars.

----- jonny 10.01.09 20:36

I live near this nifty piece of architecture that bills itself as “a little better”. The emphasis really is on the word “little”. I was a frequent customer of the Thrifty gas that used to occupy the same spot. When they closed down the Thrifty gas to construct the new bp I was excited, thinking that the future of alternative fuel stations was finally coming to L.A. the epicenter of the automobile. Being located in the middle of the ultra-chic Westside I thought what a bold statement from one of the worlds largest oil companies. Wrong! As far as I know there are no bp branded stations in the greater Los Angeles area, so this really peaked my interest, the future is hear I thought. Now I will certainly be looking into a Flexfuel, ethanol, biodeisel, car for my next vehicle purchase, maybe even a hydrogen car or car that I could swap in and out a standardized electric battery. Nope, just regular gasoline not even diesel. They wasted an opportunity and gave us the same thing just packaged differently. What a slap in the face as if to say, we recognize the global need for improving energy efficiency but we are not really interested in that, we just want the same antiquated products to look prettier and we want you to “feel” better about using them. I don’t buy my gas from that station in protest, I buy it at the Exxon across the street. A gas station that looks like a Frank Geary inspired H.R. Pufinstuff titanium tree house complete with magic mushroom mood lights, what a waste of talent and money. Save the big bp marketing dollars and build us the next generation of fueling stations with real alternative fuels next time. On a recent trip to Oregon I stumbled upon a real futuristic fueling station with all different grades of ethanol and biodiesel, It also had a real “living roof” on the store part and solar panels on the fuel canopy, organic self serve soda fountain and an array of locally made sustainable foodstuffs and other green products. How hard could it really be to build such a thing? Check out http://www.sqbiofuels.com/ . I call that “a little better” not just a little more colorful.

----- Mitch E. 10.07.08 15:33

does anyone know where to get that paper with seeds in it? I would love to use it for a project I’m working on!

----- katie 30.06.08 06:49

The Helios House is a great example of what can be done when there is a desire to create change in our day to day fueling habits. Our company enjoyed being a part of the construction process. A fact of interest is almost 100% of all existing materials not reused in the new construction process where recycled. Much of the existing structures, such as the canopy and kiosk where incororated into this unquie design. The green theme was incorporated into the entire construction process with little or no impact on schedule. As a fueling contractor in California or hope is that all Oil Companies rise to the green future in design, build and alternative fuel availability in the LA market. Go Green

----- Greg S 15.05.08 20:51

I was driving in LA when I saw this amazing, stylish station, I had to make a U turn and get a closer look , Helios BP Petrol station, that is eco designed WoW!!! Well done guys, this is the 2nd interesting petrol statin I have seen, the other being near Marbella. Spain designed by Foster. Not sure who the designer is on Helios,

----- Toufic Kahale 27.03.08 07:23

My primary vehicle is a biodiesel Mercedes 300D. I enjoy the image of this futuristic fueling station and hope that more will dot the LA landscape, however, BP should be consistent with their promises and in fact offer the new fuels that drivers here are ready for.

----- david 28.09.07 05:39

Apparently the employees there have to have a degree in some environmental science to work there and actually get paid pretty decent. They have to know their stuff, because it’s all a test and things go wrong every now (solar panels, software, etc.) and they have to know how to report it. The employees also give suggestions on how to improve the model and BP works on them instantly. It’s not very close to me, but I’m going to try and make it a point to fill up there when I can! Go BP!

----- Danny 17.09.07 15:46

is it a space ship or gehry want-a-b?….one is enough. the story is great, but too much hollywood blitz. Is it for us and earth or for attention?…too bad its not from the heart-the grapohics are, I give them a plause, but the architecture is meaningless-to bad.

----- Kyle Jeffery 14.09.07 05:29

in one word WOW….
i do own a BP petrol station in holland and i would love to rebuild it in this style, this is awsome im even thinking about having a trip over from the netherlands to LA to see it with my own eye’s

----- Jan 21.06.07 11:18

I just came from the Helios House…got a tour from one of the BP team. Very cool!

----- stevio 08.06.07 16:55

Dear ?
Fabulous photos. Would it be possible to mail me some of the photos in a high solution please. I need it for a presentation.
All the very best
Michael

----- Michael Skou 25.04.07 21:52

hola soy sergio de argentina te cueto tellamo mandate mi fotos produtora te la bamandar telefono 4821,2422 mail karisma_scouting@yahoo.com

----- sergio 25.04.07 18:33

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