The project team behind United Oil #3 in Baldwin Hills showed that a gas station can be more than a simple box shape and be aesthetically pleasing.

United Oil #3

United Oil #3 is a custom-designed and built gas station that features mostly glazier work.

The storefront for the gas station is comprised solely of 3/4-in tempered glass and reaches 16 ft high.

A 25-ft tall glass tower drops through the middle of the roof. The tower was created using Bendheims Linit channel glass wall system out of Germany. The tower, shaped as an ellipse and raked at the top, is comprised of 23-ft-tall sections of tempered channel glass, in Bendheim’s rough cast finish.

The gas station has all the same functions as a typical gas station and was designed with so much glass to try to draw customers in because of its unique design.

The complexity of the project required that experienced glaziers be brought in and a skilled project manager was needed to oversee the work.

Due to the sheer size and complex shapes that were being constructed, the project foreman needed to instruct his crew with precision and accuracy. There were many locations where differing types of glass intersected one another and each intersection needed to be executed correctly.

There were two primary elements within the glazing scope of the project that proved to be challenging as work began to commence. The first of which was the sheer length of the channel glass. At 23 ft tall the channel glass provided by Bendheim was as long as Bendheim could manufacture and was prone to excessive movement and flexing. This required a team of skilled glaziers with steady hands to work seamlessly in conjunction with one another in order to stand the glass. The second challenge posed by this installation dealt with the limited space in which the wall was installed. In order to achieve the appearance of having the roof pierced through the middle of the tower, the glass had to be installed after the roofing was finished.

Project Team

Owner: United Oil, Inglewood
General Contractor: Advanced Building Group, Los Angeles
Architect: Kanner Architects, San Diego
Engineer: Omnispan Corp., Pasadena
Glazing: Giroux Glass, Los Angeles