Fire station, Weert
WEERT (NL) - Being a firefighter has a somewhat mythical connotation: battling fires, saving lives, and sharing in a tight-knit community of tough, brave men. Many fire stations have an according look, being mainly functional buildings accessible only to those who spend their hours waiting for an emergency dispatch.
The municipality of Weert opted for a more transparent look for its new fire station. The reborn station clearly marks the union of three fire districts; it is built on the same plot as the old building, but has a more complex and dense programme. The result is a sturdy, compact building that breathes a certain transparency to the outside world, and yet, has the appearance of an unshakable fortress.
Thanks to the large cast iron slabs applied to the facade, the fire station gets its sturdy look. The architects designed three variations of imprints for the panels: raised, recessed and perforated patterns, all resembling an abstract flame. The application of these different imprints results in giving the facade a lively appearance.
Logistics and efficiency are vital to the functioning of a fire brigade, asking for a clear internal organisation and short routes between different functions. BDG architects found a combined answer to this requirement through clever routing and by creating visual relationships. One of these solutions is 'hanging' several functions – the canteen, the instruction room and the fitness area – as transparent volumes on the steel structure. All technical functions, as well as the garage bays, are located on the ground floor. Behind a large transparent facade, which has a sizable cantilever screening it from the sun, the fire engines are awaiting action. At night, when the station is brightly illuminated, this public front showcases both the activity inside and the white, spotless interior of the building.
Monday | 11 July | 2011 | Netherlands | Hannah Schubert