The City of Burbank Police and Fire Facility provides public safety services for the city and northern metropolitan Los Angeles area. Poised for renewal and sophisticated development, Burbank was experiencing rapid growth and change. The days of a relaxed, small-town atmosphere in this “entertainment capital of the world” were being replaced by carefully planned retail and commercial projects centered in the downtown area. Property owners, investors, developers and local citizens had concerns and expectations for improved public safety. As a high-density office, retail and commercial development were revitalizing older downtown areas, specialized law enforcement and fire-fighting capabilities became critical factors for success.
City leaders and decision-makers saw the addition of a winning new public safety facility as a valuable investment of public resources. The first step in the process was the creation of a Downtown Civic Center Master Plan. A series of town hall workshops provided study sessions for community members and city council. Needs assessment and programming activities concluded that a shared facility would optimize space and development cost. Building space was estimated at 120,000 square feet and 410 combined staff and public parking spaces required 175,000 square feet, resulting in a total structure having 295,000 square feet—almost three times greater than the available site area.
The design concept establishes a new public landmark for the Burbank Civic Center while building forms and the central entry tower reflect the architecture of Burbank’s City Hall. Street repair along the primary public avenues is achieved by the strong presence resulting from the L-shaped building mass. The main building entrance features a landscaped, radial-stepped plaza which is punctuated by a small museum and public art.