As part of the Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue service PFI bid we were asked design a new four bay community fire station. The building will house the accommodation necessary to support four appliance bays and an associated free standing two storey training facility.
Part of the remit of the development of this fire station is to engage with the local community by providing facilities for their use to engender the sense that the building is embedded within its locale and is an open and welcome resource for the community. The scheme will endeavour to instil ownership in the community to justify its location and use. Distant views from Chosen Hill across the adjacent flat farmland to the site are possible and the building needs to understand how it will be viewed from this point and as one approaches the site on the elevated A40.
A key design generator in this process was the creation of a double height glazed street space which defines the circulation across the site. This element runs from north to south on the site linking the public entrance to the building with the staff entrance to the rear of the site. The street is intended to be used as a flexible space with several potential uses.
The single storey element is set as a different form to the rest of the architecture. Clad in Cotswold stone this gently curving feature sets itself as a distinct “barrier” between the brook and the site. Appearing to be an element that was already on the site, it aims to feel as if the new building is making use of an old redundant agricultural field wall or building. This element also creates a dynamic roof form which will help to give this building an interesting and identifiable shape when viewed from distant aspects. It also helps to “ground” the whole building giving the scheme a feeling of strength, longevity and purpose. This project achieved BREEAM very good.