Striking red fire station saves energy, and lives
Dutch firm Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven recently completed a new fire station for Belgium's Antwerp Fire Department. Sustainable design includes solar power and rainwater collection, while the eye-catching red brick on the outside contrasts with wood and concrete on the inside.
The project, named Fire Station Wilrijk, is located in a busy area south of Antwerp. Its exterior is nicely done and sports vibrant red glazed brick and simple white lettering.
Inside, the ground floor contains a large double-height garage area for the fire trucks and assorted firefighting equipment, plus a workshop. An office lies upstairs , along with the residential area for the firefighters, which consists of an outdoor terrace area, living space, sleeping quarters, a gym, and a kitchen and dining area. An additional tower section hosts a technical room which contains electrical equipment.
Structurally, there's a bit more to the fire station than appears at first glance. The building consists of concrete on the lower level, with the upper level made up of cross-laminated timber (CLT). Both are then finished in the glazed brick to lend it a uniform exterior appearance.
"The upper floors are made of CLT to give the living spaces a more domestic quality," the firm told us. "The biggest challenge in the project was the coordination between the concrete construction of the depot and the CLT construction of the office and residential floor above. A hybrid concept in which all floor and wall partitions were prefabricated and assembled on location."
The fire station's grid-based electricity use is reduced by a solar panel array and rainwater is also collected to be used for both flushing the toilets and for the firefighters to carry out training exercises.
Source: Happel Cornelisse Verhoeven