Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
TOWN OF CAREFREE FIRE STATION NO. 1 in Arizona by LEA – Architects, LLC
December 20th, 2015 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: LEA – Architects, LLC
The small desert Town of Carefree, Arizona is known as an “artist’s community” and a new public building is a rare event. Carefree’s new Station No. 1 and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) designed by LEA Architect’s Lawrence Enyart, FAIA & Lance Enyart, AIA, was the first Fire Station in the Town of Carefree to meet the current and future emergency service response demands of the rapidly expanding community.
The new fire station with a Community / Training Room / EOC exudes a sense of permanence and sustainability and is neighbor friendly. The natural materials introduce scale and texture to the building envelope. The simple forms of the recycled metal weathering roof emulate the surrounding mountains, relating to the scale and form of the neighboring residential / desert context. Multiple sustainable design strategies incorporate passive and active systems for natural day lighting, ventilation, and energy conservation.
The triangular roof forms provide deep shading overhangs for the building to essentially shade itself much like a cactus. The use of natural materials of ground fly ash concrete, split face concrete masonry, perforated metal + the weathering steel roof was influenced by the historic icon sundial of downtown Carefree. The triangular small site of 0.20 acre demanded precision and a building that echoed the desert and tight site geometry. Carefree Fire Station No. 1 lies within the beauty of the Sonoran Desert among mountains and cacti.
The station aesthetically relates to the natural surroundings; the triangular forms of the nearby park shade structures and sundial icon for the Town of Carefree indeed motivated the dynamic triangular shape of the new building. From the inception of the project, Design Architect & Principal Larry Enyart, FAIA established design goals of, minimizing response time, sustainability, and improving the quality of life for the Fire Department personnel. These goals were applied to every facet of the design, noise attenuation, evacuation of diesel exhaust fumes, environmental filtration systems, the building’s orientation, natural light penetration, air quality, and the selection of sustainable and energy saving materials. The design incorporates a pallet of sustainable, energy saving, and sound attenuation materials consisting of split face masonry (inside use provides thermal mass stability), added insulation for thermal and noise protection, insulated sound absorbing glass, exposed steel beams, special glazed metal bay doors, replenishment wood ceilings, and deep ribbed recycled mild weathering steel roofing. The south facing entry canopy with its triangular roof forms, supported by steel beams and shading perforated metal, introduce exciting elements to the project complementing the surrounding context. A mezzanine 2nd turn-out storage platform was created by the gently rising roof form, allowing north light to penetrate the bays via a large triangular shaped window.
Integration with Surrounding community & UNIQUE PROJECT fEATURES
The Carefree community takes great pride in maintaining a strong sense of artistic design quality as it relates to context and the design / art & architecture of the Town of Carefree’s new Fire Station. The Architect looked at this green materials sustainable project as an opportunity to enhance and support the desert community and provide an Emergency Response facility that would instill a sense of permanence and pride in the public and users. The siting and forms of the building were created to emphasize low scale of a gently rising roof and the relationship to the mountains nearby.
The simple triangular shaped roof forms helps the scale of a large garage industrial building, the deep building setbacks, covered entry and patio, and the xeriscape desert indigenous landscaping allows for a cohesive integration with the specific project site as well as the overall Carefree aesthetic. The sustainable green materials used, the building forms, diesel filtration and exhaust systems, functional layouts, noise mitigation techniques were all helpful in providing ideal vehicular/pedestrian circulation, response time improvement, as well as minimizing station noise for the on duty firefighters and the public. This project was especially meaningful in that the Mayor, Three Councilmen, Fireman, and Town Manager were all involved with the Architect in creating this new sustainable Fire Station / EOC / Community Room for the Town of Carefree using the on-site design charrette process. The state and community is very proud of this building and the winning of the National Competition Design Excellence Award from FIERO and the IAFC.
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Category: Fire Station