Main ContractorBuckingham Group
ArchitectAFL Architects
Structural EngineerBuro Happold


To construct a service station in keeping with the picturesque landscape surrounding the site.

The Results

A pleasant change from the monotony of the standard service station. Gloucester Gateway is an outstanding project that draws drivers off the roads.

About the Building

Gloucester Gateway Services opened in May 2014 with the ambition to become a sustainable alternative to the typical motorway service station. The project was the brainchild of the Westmorland family, who are the company behind the popular Tebay Services in Cumbria. The Tebay service station has been offering fresh, homemade food to travellers since 1972 and Gloucester Gateway Services intended to expand and develop that concept.

The Brief

The main building was to be constructed from local stone and timber. It features an arched structure of glulam beams with a grass-covered ‘green’ roof as well as extensive landscaping. The site includes a petrol station, electric vehicle charging station, a farm shop and capacity to switch to bio-fuel pumps - there are also plans for a lake and beehives, so that honey can be produced on-site.

The Solution

The overall building form is discreet, the internal entrance contrasts by leaving a lasting impression - supported on timber columns, the engineered timber grid roof structure provides an element of great craftsmanship which is integral to the project.

The site seeks to provide a tranquil experience, contrasting from the environment of a motorway, reflecting the local character of the area. The building design is unique to the restrictions and opportunities conveyed by the site and its surroundings.

There were many planning constraints thanks to the site’s surroundings which led to the decision to use a green roof, helping it integrate with local surroundings. It contrasts completely with the more familiar ‘standard’ design and layout solutions typical of many service stations. It is designed to ensure a high level of sustainability, not generally found in this industry.

The motorway service station and petrol forecourt consists of 104m3 glulam beams and CLT, 100t of structural steelwork and 11t of cold rolled steel. Glulam and CLT, as an engineered timber solution, are one of the most sustainable, strong and adaptable building materials – ideal to meet the architectural brief.

Gloucester Gateway Services has been dubbed “Britain’s Greenest Motorway Services”.
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