Markham Moor petrol station on the A1 has been listed as a grade II structure
Architecture minister lists petrol stations designed by Elliot Noyes and Sam Scorer
Two of Britain’s most striking 1960s petrol stations were listed today at grade II by architecture minister John Penrose.
The first, Markham Moor on the A1 at West Drayton, Nottinghamshire, dates from 1960 and features one of the few surviving hyperbolic paraboloid canopies in Britain.
The innovative design was the work of British architect Sam Scorer and Hungarian refugee engineer Dr K Hajnal-Kónyi.
The second, the Mobil station on the A6 at Red Hill, Leicestershire, dates from the late 1960s and is notable for its overlapping “parasols”.
It was designed by American modernist architect Elliot Noyes, an important figure in post-war commercial design who met Le Corbusier while studying architecture at Harvard.
Commissioned by Mobil in 1964, his Pegasus-style petrol station design was used internationally. The canopies in Leicester are thought to be the only intact remaining examples in use in the whole of the UK.
Penrose said: “These petrol station canopies are splendid reminders of an era, not so long ago, when motoring was first becoming available to all, and a family car journey was very often an adventure in itself. These designs were futuristic at the time and they continue to delight – they have clearly stood the test of time.”
Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, which proposed the listings, said: “The advent of motor transport perhaps did more to change life in 20th century Britain than any other single invention. Yet today hardly any petrol stations or other buildings relating to the birth of motoring remain – almost all have been swept away and rebuilt many times over.
“These two new listed buildings will strike an immediate chord with many people today and symbolise to future generations some of the flair and exuberance associated with driving in the 1960s.“
The canopy listings are part of a wider English Heritage project to examine the impact of the motor car on the historic environment.