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Nanterre Fire Station

contributed by 295 Carlos Lanuza, 17 April 2009

 


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Description Nanterre Fire Station:

In order to reduce the possibility of delay, emergency response demands absolute priority for concentration of information, the precision of spatial organization, and the choreography of gathering firemen to their positions. Efficient spatial qualities indicate a clear need for simplicity and stength.  Consequently, the detailed choice of  materials and the general fit of spaces and functions is made clear.

This functionalism, in the strict sense of the word, is the main characteristic of the fire station. In this specfic context, a classic problem of living space occurs:  The quality of a living space must coexist at the same location as activities which are rarely considered compatible with living. The particular rigor of being a fireman leads us to define living space in terms of quality of life. Meanwhile, the fire station has been defined in relationship with the urban context, exploring its particular public standing in the city.

Due to the shape of the lot, the fire station is organized as a U-shape, on two levels, with a central courtyard.  Workshops and garages are directly connected onto the courtyard and contribute to a clear reading of the resulting organization of working order logic. An apartment block is separated from the fire station. An autonomous volume overhanging the fire station, these living quarters are gauged by allowable urban codes.

The flatness of the fire station below responds to the verticality of the apartments, whose outline frames an urban front along the Avenue de la République. The fire station, as a public building at the scale of the city, becomes a landmark in the environment.

The entrance of the fire station is at the corner of Avenue de la République and Avenue de l'Industrie, directly connecting with the control station office. According to the program, the project is strictly respectful of truck traffic and fluxes of moving people. Firetruck departure is located on the west elevation, arrival on the opposite side. Dormitories are located at the first level above the firetruck garage. Dining rooms, leisure spaces, and offices located in the central aisle between west and east elevations enjoy the benefit of a clear view to the courtyard and a good orientation to the sun.

Openings correspond to needs, no more, no less. No esthetic guides their definition; answers are provided case by case instead of through global abstraction, with a perfect balance between needs and means as focal point. It's the rightness of this answer that defines the esthetic of the building. The perfect reading of functions becomes the representation of function.   In this way, materials are chosen for their robustness, durability, and ease of maintenence. 

The building is clad with mirrored stainless steel panels.  To the repetitive rythym of panels, openings appear as random. Visible from the overhangs of neighboring buildings, the roofing is designed as a fifth fascade.

The entrance to the apartments is from the avenue.  The lobby, built against the fire station, stretches out along the length of the lot.  The apartments benefit from unique views and orientation.  Without denying views, we sought to prevent having apartments just open up onto the noise of the avenue or courtyard of the fire station.  
Apartments are gathered in three blocks linked by glazed bridges, each block supplied with four elevations.

Vertical connections and kitchens are located along the avenue side.  The glazed bridges house living spaces that open onto sunny terraces. Bedrooms are located on the east and west sides of the blocks. The flat building is clad with copper-toned alumnium panels.  Alumninum windows of opening and fixed-frame type are of the same color.  Gold glass merges with yellow, orange and red glass to evoke, in an eliptical manner, the spirit of fire.

 

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Information Nanterre Fire Station:

Project function:
Address: 
Nanterre, France



Year end: 
2004

Area: 
13500
(m²)

Cost: 
15500000
(euros)


License: 
Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Creative Commons


Comments to Nanterre Fire Station:

The project was published at the book piel.skin

commented by 56 Ethel Baraona Pohl, 2 September 2009

Author:
anonymous  [login]


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