Mono Architekten creates a gas station next to a German heritage site

Berlin workshop Mono Architekten created a gas station in Thuringia, Germany, combining facilities for motorists with an exhibition space on a nearby Bronze Age burial mound.

Located off the Bundesautobahn 72 motorway east of Leipzig, the center adjoins a new educational trail that celebrates the site of Leubinger Fürstenhügel, one of the region’s most important archaeological monuments.

Mono Architekten has created a gabled gas station in Thuringia

“Part of the holistic concept was not only the careful placement of the structure in historically significant surroundings but also the integration of an exhibition and educational pathway,” said Mono Architekten.

“Visitors are encouraged to linger, take in the views of the surroundings, or learn more about the history of the area. The educational trail connects the architecture and landscape as it leads from the building to the burial mound.”

Exterior of the Leubinger Fürstenhügel petrol station
Its design references a Bronze Age longhouse

To house its unusual confluence of uses, Mono Architekten designed two elongated, gabled wings for the service station which are informed by another nearby archaeological find – a Bronze Age longhouse.

Corrugated aluminum was used to clad the entire exterior, aiming to create a “calm, understated aesthetic” that continues through to the clean, wood-lined interiors.

Perpendicular to the road, the west wing of the building has a walkway shape and a large columnless span, housing the service station and containing a store at one end.

In the east wing, bathrooms and laundry rooms sit alongside a rest area and cafe. The seats extend onto a mezzanine as well as a sheltered terrace under the projecting gable roof.

Facade with corrugated aluminum cladding
The exterior is covered with corrugated aluminum

On one side of the east wing is the long and narrow exhibition space. It contains artefacts and information about the Leubinger Fürstenhügel burial mound, which is framed by a full-height glazed wall.

“The building itself was designed as an elongated angle consisting of two wings that blend smoothly into the gently rolling landscape,” explained Mono Architekten.

“A guest area that has been modeled after the shape of the longhouse offers a direct visual reference to the mound via the generous glass facade at the front of the structure,” he continued.

Interior of wooden gas station by MONO Architekten
Its interior is lined with wood

Along the back of the building, the educational path leads to the tumulus at one end and a gazebo at the other, highlighting particular details or features of the landscape along the way.

“Staged as a timeline, the path takes the visitor back in time through historical events, archaeological discoveries and the construction of the tomb, ending with the tumulus itself, surrounded by a circular path structure” , the studio said.

Exhibition space lined with wood by MONO Architekten
An exhibition space runs down one side of the building. The photo is by Thomas Müller

MONO Architekten was founded by Daniel Schilp, André Schmidt and Jonas Greubel in 2013.

The firm’s past projects include a extension of a 1970s school in Germany with a group of curved volumes covered in larch with green roofs.

The photograph is from Gregor Schmidt unless otherwise stated.

Project credits:

Architect: MONO Architekten
Design team: Jonas Greubel, Daniel Schilp, André Schmidt, Peter Heckeroth, Sonja Siewert, Eric Zapel, Mariana Varela and Lisa van Heyden
Landscape Architecture:
Exhibition designer:
Studio MUS