Architects: Van Rooijen Nourbakhsh Architecten
Location: Vleuten, Utrecht, The Netherlands
Interior Architect: Van Rooijen Nourbakhsh Architecten
Client: Ontwikkelingsbedrijf Gemeente Utrecht
Photographs: Cornbread Works
The program consists of a garage for 3 fire trucks, dressing rooms, workshops office and instructions areas and a cafeteria. The fire station is situated in a suburban area with mainly traditional housing.
On the relatively small site a two floor building was designed with a cubic shape. The floor plans are very compact and functionally designed to support speedy action in case of fire and emergencies. One has to reach a calamity within 8 minutes.
In contrast with the brick of the houses in the area the fire station was given a specific character expressing the professionalism of the fire brigade. A bronze coloured expanded metal mesh with red cut-outs covers the black cubic volume. This metal skin of the building represents the toughness of the firemen. In contrast the interior is ‘ soft ‘ with the use of wood and colours. The public entrance is completely transparent and is also used as a ‘museum’ with equipment from the past.
Art is applied in the building to make everyone feel at home. A large photograph of the old fire station was put on one of the sliding walls. In the canteen a full height black and white graphic with images taken from photo albums from the firemen decorates one of the walls. Trophies and objects find a place in niches and showcases.
Transparency of the building inside and outside is essential. This has a positive influence on the cooperation between the fire fighters and the recognisability to the public. The fire engines in the glazed remise are well visible presenting the organization in the middle of the society, active and ready.