Agip, which stands for Azienda Generale Italiana Petroli (General Italian Oil Company), was an iconic chain of Italian gasoline stations established in 1926. In the 1950s, as service stations transformed into dining and entertainment venues with restaurants and bars, motels attached to these filling stations became available for those wishing to find a comfortable place to stop, relax and refuel on long road trips.
Agip was purchased by Eni (Rome) in 2003, and one of its abandoned service stations – a location overlooking the sea and in an access route near the mountains in Udine, Italy – became the ideal home to brand FSM Filling Station Motel (Udine, Italy). Blending old and new, Visual Display (Udine, Italy) worked with FSM to create a memorable rest stop and store for today’s travelers and motorcycle enthusiasts along a major regional thoroughfare.
With an inherent industrial feel, the site offered the stylistic nuances needed to best project the FSM brand. Additionally, its position, strategically close to the motorway between the mountains and the sea, and the region’s historical center, made it an ideal spot for travelers and locals alike.
Giorgio Di Bernardo, General Manager and Founder, Visual Display, said, “The project was to create a motorcycle workshop that could also become a place for people to hang out; a space dedicated to today’s motorists, two-wheel lovers and locals.” The vision was for a versatile space that could be used as a lounge or bar, as well as for music, events, parties and business presentations.
The roadside venue includes a motorcycle workshop, which performs repairs and customization and produces FSM-branded motorcycles. Additionally, there’s a wide range of apparel, helmets, accessories, and a food concept, the Osteria, offering simple seasonal food and local wine with an Italian flair.
The biggest challenge was configuring the large, open space to accommodate the different functions. Expansive windows and wire mesh dividers connect all of the areas, leading guests effortlessly through the different zones.
“The aim was to restore the original façade and interior features in a respectful way, combining old and new elements,” said Di Bernardo. The period façade was refurbished, maintaining the original doors and windows, while existing ceramic tiles in the garage were revived with a fresh coat of gray paint. In the bar, dark wood planks were added for a warmer feeling, and midcentury modern furniture placed throughout mixes with industrial pieces and an iconic Maralunga lounge sofa designed by Italian designer Vico Magistretti.
FSM’s eclectic fusion of looks, coupled with a slice of local history, blurs the line between retro styles and innovation while providing a memorable visit between yesterday and today.
Designers blended old with new to create a comfortable, familiar space for motorcycle enthusiasts to stop, rest, relax and refuel.