FM3 Service Station
by Héctor Navarro + ARKHITEKTON

The proposal is based on a series of conditions responsible for the project strategy; the triangular shape and unevenness of the plot, the housing complex that borders it to the south, as well as the need to create a piece that must be visible from the highway but at the same time respects the scale of the context.

Based on these premises, a large horizontal roof is defined under which three sectors are organized; car refuelling, services and large vehicles refuelling. At ground level, the descending unevenness in an east-west direction of the plot is modeled by means of an important earth movement that seeks the continuity of the horizontal plane. With this operation, both refueling areas have different free heights under the horizontal canopy taking advantage of the greater for the truck area on the west orientation. With this solution, the roof is located at a lower level than the surrounding buildings, preserving the views that the neighbors have always enjoyed.

Other services for caravans, washing and maintenance boxes as well as multiple parking areas are organized around the gas station. The traffic is organized around the building establishing clear flows that avoid security problems.

All the service parts are organized in the central area under ​​the canopy. The main space is defined by four curtain wall facades that seek to dematerialize and merge the interior with the surroundings, which has views of the natural immediate landscape. In this glass volume, three opaque boxes are inserted and house services such as restrooms, kitchen, facilities or warehouse. Two of them are defined as independent volumes including skylights located on their roof allowing natural lighting and ventilation. The offices are integrated in the box located on the south façade, defined as a panopticon, allowing all the spaces of the complex to be monitored from this space. Kitchen and warehouse volume also have independent accesses from the outside, which allows the unloading of product from the store and cafeteria without interfering with the circulation of customers. The glass box, with a free height of 4 meters, is organized through the furniture articulating two spaces; shop and cafeteria. Linked to the restaurant, a terrace allows to use the outside and define another access to the complex.

The structure of the roof is resolved by a structure of metal trusses, finished on its sides with an aluminum plates and a false ceiling of corrugated sheet of the same material. The structure rests on reinforced concrete pillars, a solution adopted to resolve the struts, which prevents the black boxes from being responsible for this task. In addition, the roof downpipes are housed inside the pillars.
The structure of pillars is organized by porticoes that support the three roofs in which the staggered shape of the canopy can be decomposed in plan, placing the pillars of the glass box inside it, a strategy that once again, seeks to reinforce the light character of the interior space.

The lighting project aims to turn the entire piece into a large lamp, visible from the highway. With this solution, the condition of transparency that articulates the project is recovered and reinforced. A nocturnal image of cold colors is defined that contrast with the colorful store products and the wooden furniture of the cafeteria.


Architecture: Héctor Navarro + ARKHITEKTON
Main architects : Héctor Navarro, Carlos Navarro
Collaborators: (Tomás Rojo, Laura Fernández, Avelia Chomón)
Consultants: (Mario Cabezas del Alamo /
Area: 855 m2
Location: Liaño, Cantabria. España
Date: 2021
Photography: Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)

Architects: Hector Navarro

Héctor Navarro (1986) is an architect and doctor cum laude from the Polytechnic University of Madrid. Extraordinary award for the doctoral thesis “Symbiosis and borders between architecture and contemporary urban spaces”. He is an associate professor at ETSAM and CSDMM (Polytechnic University of Madrid). She carries out her professional and research work from Madrid and Cantabria.

The study was founded in 2014 after winning the competition for the construction of Plaza Tetuán-Amaliach. It has also won other contests such as Plaza Fuente Real (Comillas). Currently the office develops projects in Madrid and Cantabria.


Since 2007, he collaborates with Manuel Blanco, director of the ETSAM, designing and curating exhibitions and museum installations. “Grandes Encuadernaciones” (Royal Palace of Madrid), “Campo Baeza, the creation tree” (MAXXI-Roma, Gallery MA-Tokio), “A city called Spain” (Pinacoteca Nacional-Atenas, Central House of Artists-Moscow)

Since 2014, he has collaborated with the ARKHITEKTON architecture studio for the development of projects in Cantabria.

Other projects from the architect