The winner of the 2015 Forecourt Trader of the Year Award has received further accolades, this time from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).
The Gloucester motorway service station on the M5 has won an RIBA National Award for its designer Glenn Howells Architects, and the owners Westmorland won the South West Client of the Year Award.
In its citation for the awards the RIBA said: “Not since the glorious infancy of the British motorway network, when motorists would travel to the perceived sophistication of motorway services, has a new example of the type itself been worthy of the journey, if even the stop.
“Those early buildings were arranged in homage to motor travel but those days are gone, replaced at Gloucester by a building that is a very deliberate refuge from motor travel.”
Praising the visitor experience it said: “To break the mould of the stock gas-station design is a triumph in itself and the bespoke provisions here steer mercifully clear of structural gestures in favour of simple architecture of generous proportions.”
It added: “The high quality of (local) produce and merchandise is a major factor in the visitor’s experience but it is the absence of concessions that significantly contributes to the visual simplicity and quality of the interior. The lack of (competing) branding and signage is a relief and a flag for the value of the independent operator’s vision and business model. The jury found much to credit both architect and client, whose challenges to convention has set a new benchmark.”