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Facts

Year: 2008

Client: Skanska

Location: Tromsø, Norway

About

Emergency preparedness at a fire station is exceptionally high. If the alarm sounds at night while the crew are asleep in bed, it is required that the fire appliances must drive on to the yard with the entire crew on board, dressed in their special protective clothing, at the latest 60 seconds after the alarm sounds. Therefore it is extremely important that the design and structure of the building answer these demands.

At the same time the building must provide a cheerful base and accommodation facilities for the crews, allowing them to enjoy their time off-duty.

The solution utilizes the fall in the terrain across the site by organizing then building brief over three floors in a rational and linear structure. A clear priority was established on the basis of the operational importance of the rooms and functions. On the ground floor facing the yard, the vehicles are lined up in a depot with support functions placed at the back towards the terrain. Directly above are quarters for the emergency-response crew with the shortest possible distance down. Vehicles that do not take part in the call-out are located at one end of the building with office work-stations above. On the first floor the staff and public entrance is accessed directly from the highest area of the site. A sheltered garden for recreation is also located at this level. On the top floor there is a gymnasium, a training room and a canteen with a view of the Tromsøsundet inlet.

The facades and assembly of the building volumes were based on constructive and linear structural features. Added to the two-storey horizontal main volume is a top storey with rooms of varying heights, and also a slim, free-standing tower (for drying hoses), and a glass volume supported by a column soaring dramatically over the yard , which contains a meeting-room. The architectural idea behind the way the volumes are organized was to create a balanced set of asymmetrical volumes, and to introduce a scale that was adapted to the neighbourhood. 

The project was one of the entries in a limited project competition.

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