The municipal authority in Houten (Netherlands) commissioned the Samyn and Partners practice to build a small fire station on a site surrounded by lots of green space. The municipality of Houten has a hybrid fire fighting force : four professional firefighters, and around sixty volunteers. The building agenda set a requirement that there should be space to accommodate six fire engines. The theme in drawing up the design is the radical divi- sion of the roof structure from the internal organization. It represents the idea of the shelter, the independence of the shell from the building itself. The building’s interior is in keeping with the client’s requirements. The choice of a parabolic form for the roof is the result of the search for elegance of form, and also brings about an optimization of the structure. The fast method of construction was a further significant factor favoring this choice at the fundamental design stage.
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