Elevating the Discourse: Fire Stations pt. 3

Part 3 in our Elevating the Discourse: Fire Stations series (previously: concrete, wood) includes several glazed fire stations. At brute_force, we’re big proponents of natural ventilation and daylight (naturally) and so it’s really interesting to see such a diversity of solutions to fairly similar programs.  And, yet again, many of these were awarded competitions.   

Brandweer Houten



architect: samyn + partners 

location: Houten (NL) 

completed: 2000 

Built in a rather neglected part of town, this project features a completely glazed and unheated apparatus bay facing due south. Photovoltaics on the facade provide energy as well as shading. The northern two-storey section has showers, changing rooms and storage below, with conference room office and beanery above. The interior wall facing the apparatus bay features 2200 art works from local children, protected from vandalism and a nod to why the volunteer fire-fighters are there. 

Feuerwache Preetz 




architect: BPP Architekten 

location: Preetz (DE)    

completed: 2009 

A fully glazed apparatus bay opens the innards up to the city. Offices, beanery, bunks and additional support spaces wrap the apparatus bay in an ‘el’ fashion, which appears to be standard practice on most of the plans we’ve run across. The facade is a corrugated, perforated aluminum screen over a red metal wall with a trapezoidal section. As the sun shifts, so does the character of the facade. In a few instances, the perforated screen runs continuously over windows, a detail we really like. Construction photos here

Feuerwehr Neuss



architect: wichmann architekten 

location: Neuss (DE)     

year completed: 2006   

Separated by the public entry, the apparatus bay and living quarters are split to represent the differing functions. The glazed apparatus bay doubles as a training area during inclement weather. Beanery, offices, command room and training rooms are located in the compact brick box. Energy usage is minimized, and the entire building is naturally ventilated. This is what clean, direct design on a tight budget should look like. And yes, we realize profilit is really sexy and significantly cheaper in Germany. 

Feuerwehr Eberstalzell

foto: stefan schildhauer

foto: stefan schildhauer

architect: wolf architektur 

location: Eberstalzell (AT)     

year completed: 2008 

A transparent apparatus bay and large windows reveal the inner workings of this building. The hose tower and vibrant color give away the functional aspects, but the form is a play on local housing typologies. The project was designed for flexibility and future expansion. This one was also a winning competition entry. 

Feuerwehr Braz



architect: heim + müller 

location: Braz (AT)    

year completed: 2006 

The extensive glazing and slate facade seem almost too extravagant for such a utilitarian function. Yeah, there really isn’t much more to say about this one, other than it’s pretty stunning. 

Berliner Feuerwehr Tiergarten



architect: Sauerbruch + Hutton Architekten   

location: Tiergarten, Berlin (DE)   

year completed: 2004   

It would be difficult to discuss standout fire stations without this one. An extension to an existing building, this project incorporates both police and fire stations. We imagine this strategy is beneficial on numerous fronts, including increased efficiencies between departments. The glass facade, utilizing 24 different tints, plays off the colors of the existing landscape (brick and trees) as well as the departmental insignia. At operable windows, the glazed shingles tilt up like louvers, protecting the interior from glare. The addition floats above grade, allowing parking and apparatus bay to be tucked below. This project was a first place entry from a competition held in 1999.


One response to “Elevating the Discourse: Fire Stations pt. 3

  1. All of those stations were fresh to my eyes. That Brandweer Houten station is exceptional. I like the transparency – it relates well to the fact that we all like to look at the fire engines themselves and the operation of the bay doors makes a great deal of sense.