Architecture

Striking red fire station saves energy, and lives

Striking red fire station save...
Fire Station Wilrijk's white painted lettering spells BRANDWEER (or Fire Brigade). This was designed by graphic designer Reynoud Homan, using an adaptation of the letter font "Universe" by Adrian Frutiger
Fire Station Wilrijk's white painted lettering spells BRANDWEER (or Fire Brigade). This was designed by graphic designer Reynoud Homan, using an adaptation of the letter font "Universe" by Adrian Frutiger
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Fire Station Wilrijk's white painted lettering spells BRANDWEER (or Fire Brigade). This was designed by graphic designer Reynoud Homan, using an adaptation of the letter font "Universe" by Adrian Frutiger
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Fire Station Wilrijk's white painted lettering spells BRANDWEER (or Fire Brigade). This was designed by graphic designer Reynoud Homan, using an adaptation of the letter font "Universe" by Adrian Frutiger
Fire Station Wilrijk is located in a busy area south of Antwerp, Belgium
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Fire Station Wilrijk is located in a busy area south of Antwerp, Belgium
Fire Station Wilrijk was conceived back in 2014 and finally completed in 2020
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Fire Station Wilrijk was conceived back in 2014 and finally completed in 2020
Fire Station Wilrijk's lower floor is built from concrete, while the upper floor is timber, with both finished in striking red brick to lend a uniform appearance
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Fire Station Wilrijk's lower floor is built from concrete, while the upper floor is timber, with both finished in striking red brick to lend a uniform appearance
Fire Station Wilrijk's second floor includes a terrace area for the off duty firefighters
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Fire Station Wilrijk's second floor includes a terrace area for the off duty firefighters
Fire Station Wilrijk's interior features a large garage space on the ground floor
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Fire Station Wilrijk's interior features a large garage space on the ground floor
Fire Station Wilrijk's upstairs residential area includes a gym
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Fire Station Wilrijk's upstairs residential area includes a gym
Fire Station Wilrijk's residential area includes a kitchen and dining area and office
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Fire Station Wilrijk's residential area includes a kitchen and dining area and office
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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.

Fire Station Wilrijk's interior features a large garage space on the ground floor
Fire Station Wilrijk's interior features a large garage space on the ground floor

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."

Fire Station Wilrijk's residential area includes a kitchen and dining area and office
Fire Station Wilrijk's residential area includes a kitchen and dining area and office

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

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