Michael Glen Woods

Michael Glen Woods


Architect Michael Woods reimagines gas stations for an electric future

By michaelglenwoods
Dec 7, '23 3:41 PM EST
Bronx Micro Freight Hub
Bronx Micro Freight Hub

The “Future Station Project” reimagines gas stations for an electric future

Led by architect Michael Woods, the project creates nine prototypes for repurposing gas station sites across New York state. 

December 7, 2023 (NEW YORK) – New York architect and filmmaker Michael Woods has concluded a year-long project that reimagines the role of gas stations in the evolving transportation landscape. The “Future Station Project”, generously funded by The Architectural League of New York and the New York State Council on the Arts, proposes nine innovative prototypes that transform gas stations into mobility, resilience, and micro freight hubs. 

“Gas stations have long symbolized our dependence on fossil fuels and the conventional automobile,” says Woods. “However, as the world increasingly embraces electric vehicles, ‘Future Station Project’ explores the various creative possibilities for gas stations once they are no longer needed for their traditional purpose. With this project, I am trying to offer fresh perspectives on uses for urban, rural and highway stations, demonstrating how they can play a new, vital role in our communities and economy in the future.”

The premise of the “Future Station Project” is the traditional business model of gas stations is rapidly fading, dissuading investments in their continued operation. Additionally, EVs require less centralized infrastructure than their gas-powered counterparts, with vehicles capable of charging at home, at stores, or in parking lots. Gas station sites, which often occupy prime locations, can accordingly be transformed for community benefit and to address climate change. The “Future Station Project” consists of nine prototypes designed for different urban, rural, and highway locations across New York state and are tailored to community needs. In more densely populated areas, for example, Woods’ prototypes integrate EV charging with bike share stations or micro freight hubs that facilitate cargo bike and EV van deliveries. Elsewhere, gas stations are envisioned as resilience hubs. Many of the prototypes utilize solar panels, introduce permeable paving and, in some locations, even convert underground fuel tanks into rainwater detention sites. 

Each prototype repurposes existing gas station structures, minimizing the carbon footprint associated with new construction and retaining historic elements of the stations. While the reuse of such structures is complicated by the cost and time associated with the environmental remediation of underground storage tanks, which can contaminate groundwater, Woods believes these challenges are offset by the environmental benefits. Reimagining gas stations offers a unique opportunity to address longstanding inequities, says Woods. Historically, low-income areas have disproportionately experienced heavy traffic and increased air pollution; a striking correlation exists between these neighborhoods and higher rates of illnesses such as asthma. Furthermore, individuals with limited financial resources face far greater challenges in replacing their cars with EVs and often rely heavily on public transportation or ride-sharing services. To avoid repeating past failures, it is critical that social justice be at the center of this ongoing transformation.

“We stand at the threshold of a mobility revolution,” concludes Woods. “Architects and planners must collaborate with local communities to design these structures to meet the needs and desires of the communities they serve. Reinvented gas stations can become pivotal components of the next generation of mobility, freight, and resilience networks and serve to create a more sustainable and equitable future.”      

For more information on the Future Station Project, head to


About Michael Woods Michael Woods is a New York based architect and filmmaker committed to designing projects that minimize the impact on the environment while honoring the history of the places we live and work. As an architect, he has led teams on commercial and institutional projects, and he works with Perkins&Will’s New York studio. In addition to his work on design projects, he has helped improve the methods that architects use to share knowledge and explain architecture through the use of short films. He has created films and made presentations to the American Institute of Architects conventions and KA Connect. He also continues to add sites to his video blog, Eat Drink See Architecture.

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