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Everyone deserves good design … the Seattle story

November 11, 2011

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.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. November 11, 2011 9:46 am

    wow blew my socks off. Love this – has a kind of Palm springs vibe as well

  2. November 11, 2011 11:21 am

    Very cool fire stations. Wish we could have some of the same in London! 🙂

    • November 11, 2011 1:42 pm

      Great aren’t they – and I love the way the whole city voted to allow it and got behind the project.

  3. November 12, 2011 2:12 pm

    Very cool fire stations. Wish we could have some of the same in London!

  4. November 15, 2011 9:08 pm

    Well that is a new twist to design!!! Seeing this I must start paying due attention to sophisticated design in architecture! And I like Seattle! Plan to go there one day!!

    • November 15, 2011 9:59 pm

      Good to see somewhere understand that even public services deserve good design. I’d love to visit Seattle – I understand the weather can be unpredictable but that part of the US is beautiful.

  5. November 24, 2011 2:28 am

    I’ve been searching in google for some ideas and accidentally found this site. I can see that you are a professional at your occupation! I am launching a website soon, and your info will be very useful for me.. Thanks for the excellent work and wishing you the success in your business.


  1. Everyone deserves good design … the Seattle story « APD Interiors … | Arch. Annie C. Pugeda

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