One of the perils of attending an architecture school that operates on the quarter system is that I never have enough time to refine my studio projects. Even in undergrad, I used to always take time to re-polish my projects after receiving vital feedback during my final reviews. After some refinement, the project I completed this past term will likely find its way into my portfolio. Currently, I have no time to make any adjustments. However, my lack of free-time presents a blogging opportunity:
A moment to share a project in a semi-polished state.
It is raw. It is unresolved. It is a snapshot of the design process that is rarely documented (the “almost done” phase).
Fire Station 2:
The city of Medford has plans to re-design many of their current fire stations, with the exception of Fire Station 2. The site and facilities as they exist are far too small for this station to function properly and serve its civic duty. So, Fire Station 2 is receiving a totally new site and calls for a totally new building.
For this new site and new building, three design goals were developed and pursued:
Community: Supporting the fire station’s role as a civic building.
Home: A place where fire fighters will spend 1/3 of their lives should provide opportunities for social interaction, work, rest, and solitude.
Light: To avoid re-creating existing conditions, an emphasis should be placed on day-lighting solutions to create a gradient of spaces with different qualities.
After organizing the program into “Public”, “Private-Live”, and “Private-Work”, they are arranged into masses as follows:
This arrangement of masses creates a plan that orients all of the volumes from a central atrium.
Lifting the building upon a civic platform creates a separation between the public parking and the private live/work spaces, creates opportunities for controlling or capturing storm-water run-off, and creates moments of compression and release in the public entry.
An angled louver wall allows the building to become transparent from the main entrance, but closes off full-direct views of interior spaces when viewed from closer vantage points.
In section, the various volumes of the building feed off of daylight from the central glass atrium that acts as a stitch between the different masses.
The variety of sloped roofs allow opportunities for water collection, natural ventilation, and day-lighting.
Combing the above factors and massing strategies creates quality day-lighting in spaces that would benefit from it and also creates a gradient of volumes conducive to a variety of live/work tasks.
This spatial grain is designed with an idea about “moments of pause” in mind. This simply means that a fire fighter’s daily routine should be filled with opportunities for a kind of meditation or mental/emotional rest.
“The Dock”/Outdoor Circulation:
The entire building’s structure is designed in two parts. One part is structural walls that create space and support sloped roofs. The other part serves as structure and a day-lighting device simultaneously.
The second structure, or “Fin Structure” occurs in both the apparatus bay and the central atrium. Deep, x-like forms help to diffuse direct light.
More importantly, the structure has the ability to reach above the surrounding volumes and pull in-direct light down into the space.
And it helps to create this money-shot rendering:
This project was fun and small scale, but was rushed as usual. I am pleased with what I created, but received a lot of great feedback (praise and criticism) that I think will help me to make a much stronger final product.
Since I do plan on altering a few things, feedback is encouraged and appreciated! Don’t be afraid to hurt my feelings a little bit!
Or a lot if you think I deserve it… *Gulp*