Juerig Judin, a Swiss gallery owner, had been acutely aware of a particular gas station since he arrived in Berlin. It exerted an unusually strong pull on him. "I used to fantasize about the day that the 'For Sale' sign would go up," he says. In 1983, Judin got his wish, and the filling station went on the market. Even though he had no idea what to do with it, Judin felt the depot had to be saved from demolition, and enlisted the German architecture and interiors firm Bfs-d to do just that.
While not an architect by trade, Judin has an appreciation for the practice that runs in the family. Judin's uncle, Max Ernest Haefeli, was one of three Zürich-based architects—the other two being Werner M. Moser and Rudolph Steiger—who helped establish modernism in Switzerland during the 1920s. Furthermore, his mother was the first female architect to graduate from the city's prestigious engineering school, ETH Zürich, giving credence to speculation that perhaps such kinship kindled his feeling of stewardship.
“I love the thought that where someone once repaired cars, I'm now preparing dinner.”
Bfs-d reconfigured the rooms so they could adequately serve new functions. The workshop became the kitchen, which was outfitted with a new Saarinen Dining Table and Tulip Armless Chairs. "I love the thought that where someone once repaired cars, I'm now preparing dinner," says Judin of the arrangement. Likewise, the stockroom now serves as Judin's bedroom, while the old sales floor is populated by a Florence Knoll Sofa and two Florence Knoll Lounge Chairs, both upholstered in a pretty pink. According to Bfs-d, the dusty hue was selected to complement the dots of red seen on the Saarinen Tulip Armless Chairs, warming the space.
Photography: Giorgio Possenti