Fire Stations of the world: Waterford Fire Station, Republic of Ireland
The Waterford Fire Station provides emergency response for fire fighting, river rescue, car crashes and training. A strong form wrapped in zinc is folded, origami-like, to enclose a drill yard for training. It creates its own artificial landscape, a new geography of enclosure, to create a warm environment for human activity, an image of care in a small city.
Located in an inhospitable environment on a ring road around the city, the fire station folds its functions to enclose a training yard, the building form derived from tracking movements of fire engines leaving and returning at speed. Zinc was selected for its robust appearance and performance, a simple skin wrapping a variety of functions into a coherent, strong three-storey form. A rooftop public room sits over two training floors, with glazed appliance bays giving views of fire engines to children passing on the street. Ireland’s fire stations are public buildings to which people come, they play a significant role in community celebrations like St Patrick’s Day Festival, when fire tenders are decorated and parade through city streets, in this context the enclosure becomes an urban space, its drill tower a reminder of distant urban monuments, a piece of city in a wild environment.
Shaped around the active service the Waterford Fire Station delivers where speed and technical preparation is paramount, a clear dynamic form with essential ground floor functions encloses a practical yard which protects staff and equipment from potential vandalism. A ribbon of linked functions generates a spiral, rising from vehicle parking, workshops and dormitories to first floor offices, canteen, leisure and study facilities, and terminates in a second floor lecture theatre. The roof is angled and cut away to provide a series of sheltered inside-outside spaces overlooking the yard, where the drill tower acts like an urban beacon in a new public space. In parallel with this organisational arrangement, the Fire Station operates like a large family, with tough training designed to foster bonds of mutual support essential for hazardous fire fighting. So the concept for the Station is like a big house, with people arriving at different hours, some sleeping, some wakeful - linked spaces conducive to family life, facilitating everything from serious training, individual study, communal recreation, to cooking the Sunday dinner in the heart of operations, the canteen.
Ecocem GGBS concrete floors / stairs cores.
Steel roof structures and plywood sheeting.
Airtight blockwork walls
Irish “A-rated” standard
Long life Zinc cladding
GGBS parking surfaces
Active Sustainable Systems-
Heat recovery ventilation
Daylight sensor artificial lighting
Source: EU Mies Award