LOCATION: Berkeley, California
TYPOLOGY: Administrative | Infrastructure
CLIENT: City of Berkeley

Photography © 2018 Billy Hustace

The two-bay fire station is located on a challenging sloped site at the interface of a major regional park and a residential neighborhood, thus jointly serving both districts. Within the context of the community’s desire for a visual expression that reflects the Bay Region vernacular, the fire station – notably with the application of environmental principles – evokes the spirit of a long tradition of Western Park architecture with its representative timbering and modern interpretation of an extended pitched roof. It creates a strong gateway that greatly enhances the sense of entry into the park. The multi-jurisdictional fire station was subjected to a long and particularly arduous planning and review process, with scrutiny and input from the community as well as the City. The solution that satisfied the City, the Fire Department, and the community as a whole was a scheme for a building design that first and foremost well-served the Fire Department and the needs of its personnel. Without compromising design functionality, a universally accepted solution was achieved by creating gable roof forms that reminisce early 20th Century Berkeley buildings.

The design addresses sustainability aspects of energy efficiency, quality of life for the building’s occupants, and support to ecosystems. The goal of improving the quality of human life is met in several ways. For instance, 90% of the spaces are provided with direct daylight and views, and many upper level spaces are augmented by outdoor decks. This reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day and provides natural ventilation. Other sustainable aspects of the design include the use of materials like the recycled glass countertops, fly-ash concrete, drought tolerant native plants, low level and non-sky-polluting exterior lighting, a light-colored metal roof to deflect solar heat gain, rock lined bio-swale for storm water run-off treatment, and cedar siding. The LEED-certified building exceeds Title-24 energy standards by 8.2%, significantly reduces water consumption, and maximizes day-lighting and views as a result of providing fenestration on multiple sides of each major space.

© 2017 by MARCY WONG DONN LOGAN ARCHITECTS. All Rights Reserved.