Text description provided by the architects. This new $8.5M, 30,000 SF Headquarters for East Baton Rouge Parish Emergency Medical Services was completed in March 2013. It consolidates many diverse functions into a clearly-organized facility optimized to enhance their important needs and mission: administration, operations, education, and supply storage. An important aspect of the mission of EMS is public outreach – needing to maintain program visibility and access to general public (including school children) for educational programs was vital, all the while creating a secure and productive working environment for the 25 employees that are housed here daily.
The site plan and building design conform to an overarching masterplan developed by the City-Parish, which consolidates several related functions on a large tract of land near the Metropolitan Airport. The organization of the site divided the program into two main buildings – a two-story Office and Public Outreach building faces Harding Boulevard, with public parking and a covered bus drop off; and a separate vehicular and supply storage building which benefits from access from a rear street.
The building site is situated at the end of a long vehicular axis, set back over 700’ from Harding Boulevard. This presented an opportunity to create a clear, identifiable image for EMS – that it is a vital heroic agency, always clean, fast, and “at the ready”. The building massing represents the clear organization of its interior components. The large, glazed, two-story entry volume divides the plan into the metal-clad, high-traffic public education component and the two-story administrative volume, clad in precast concrete.
A custom, perforated metal sunscreen was designed to help shield the office occupants from the southern sun. The gradient pattern in a running bond arrangement is symbolic of speed, further reinforcing the desired image of EMS. By using high-quality materials indicative of its role as an institutional building, but with broad, clean, geometric strokes, the building gives an impression of lightness and motion that is indicative of its inhabitants.