As a public building in a transitional urban neighborhood, the goal for the new fire station was to create a highly functional, sustainable, and pragmatic building that is also a space where employees in high-stress jobs can relax, socialize, and connect with nature.
The single-story station’s design embraces its location in a light industrial district in a rapidly growing corner of Madison. At 21,758 square feet, this state-of-the-art station is larger than typical to incorporate training facilities, a double company, and community room.
Designed to improve the health and well-being of the who live and work in the facility round-the-clock as well as achieve energy neutrality, the building tells the story of daylight. A 50kW photovoltaic array runs the length of building’s front, providing shade and highlighting the simple shed form. Shading, glazing, and canopy systems bring in the right amount of light with a challenging orientation. Regularly occupied areas of the building are organized around the perimeter to allow views outside, which reduces stress.
While the building must be secure, there was also a desire to create a civic space with community rooms open to a neighborhood that had no place to gather. An installation of firefighting artifacts in the lobby and a transparent apparatus bay both clearly demonstrate the facility’s mission.
The LEED Platinum building is predicted to perform 72% better than a code-compliant building. Natural and renewable materials such as rubber flooring and wood, provide a warm, durable environment.