Both fire station proposals respond to complex circulation paths and site conditions defined by their topography. Each volume serves as a retaining wall—buttressing higher ground and offering a sheltered space below.
Roofscapes and access ramps fold to mimic the gesture of the flanking mountain range, accommodate the strict ceiling height requirements, and offer south-facing terrace spaces for public gatherings. The functional strength of these proposals lie in this vertical separation of the public/leisure spaces on the first floor and the fire station program at ground level. In Vierschacht, the site is bordered by a raised thoroughfare to the north and a low lying parking lot for the neighboring ski slope to the south. This change in topography was used to allocate the firehall and event space programs based on exposure and access points. The pragmatic functional spaces hug the underside of the roadway with entrances for fire trucks at the lower level. A raised roofscape emerges at the edge of the thoroughfare, defining its presence in the landscape and acting as a buffer for a raised outdoor event space. This space is accessed through an artificial sloping topography that spans between the depressed parking lot and raised roadway. Conceived to host a range of outdoor programs such as community events, meetings and daytime leisure activities, this surface was lifted to maximize southern exposure and minimize conflicts with the internal fire station program. In Mühlbach, the city center lacks public meeting places for leisure and outdoor events. By burrowing the fire station program into the steep topography, a rooftop terrace emerges—sheltered by the slope and lifted off the road by the building.