Everyone deserves good design … the Seattle story
I am a firm believer that there is never an excuse for poor design. In today’s world there are enough architects, interior designers and product designers to ensure that good design can feature in all our lives. Fortunately for the firefighters of Seattle their city agreed and they are in the process of replacing or renovating 32 of their fire stations.
I have never been to Seattle but a very good friend who now lives in Savannah was born there and we plan to visit together. It looks like a great place to visit and now there are a number of well designed fire stations added to the sightseeing tour.
Towards the end of 2003 the people of Seattle approved a levy that would be used for, among other things, upgrading renovating or replacing 32 fire stations in the city. The program is due to be completed by 2015 and will involve 20 substantial renovations and 12 complete new buildings.
Fire Station number 30 above was designed by Schact|Aslani Architects. The company was involved in all aspects of the external architecture and interior design of the building. Firefighters tend to spend a large amount of time in fire stations – they now have a well designed building to spend their time in.
Miller Hull were commissioned to design Fire Station number 39 shown above. On the site of a building dating from 1949 the new building is 11,000 sq ft and includes an enclosed yard and second floor terrace to provide opportunity for relaxation. A galvanised metal structure designed by Stephen Glassman catches rainwater which is then reused within the building.
Fire Station number 38 was completed in February 2011 and was designed by Schreiber Starling & Lane. The structure is colour coded to mark the different uses of the building. Red is the working area, white is for living and the grey slate area at the front is for operations. This fire station was built on a brownfield site 8 blocks from the original much smaller station.
This program demonstrates how important good design is not just for the occupants but also for the wider community. The new buildings are more open to the general public and involve local people in their operation. Everyone, especially hard-working fire fighters deserve good design – make sure you never settle for anything less.