Overview

The City of Fishers knew that their fire stations needed attention; they were deficient in size after an immense population surge and the original building systems were failing to perform. Station 91 needed to be a firehouse, the fire department’s headquarters, and a symbol to the community.

Fire Station 91
The Story

With the health of fire fighters and first responders, the safety of citizens, and community tax dollars all at stake, DELV dove straight into uncovering and defining the key elements that would ensure this new building’s vitality for decades to come. Station 91 had to pull double duty, functioning as both full firehouse and an administrative headquarters—functions that at times seemed at odds. 

To understand their unique needs we visited on multiple occasions and observed at various shifts interviewing and gathering direct insight from both firefighters and administrative staff.  DELV led the department leadership through a series of workshops to uncover programmatic needs and establish a project vision. From this, clear, driving project themes emerged, aligning stakeholders and becoming the filter for all design direction and decision making. The new 31,000 SF facility design promotes expeditious response times, long term health (physical and mental)and civic engagement. 

 

Client
City of Fishers + Fishers Fire Department
Market
Civic
Size
31,000 SF
Type
New Construction
Location
Fishers, IN
Fire Station 91
A Tale of Two Faces
Process

A Tale of Two Faces

Prominently located in the heart of the city’s civic district, the new building had an enormous design challenge. With its unique context–an elliptical layout with high-volume public interaction, how could it respond appropriately without compromising the practical logistics of the first responders’ optimal functionality? It needed to be both a state-of-the-art fire station and a community symbol of protection and safety. The fire department’s vision, steeped in traditionaliconic station elements and the City’s innovative and entrepreneurial identity both needed to be reflected. The design team carefully planned the massingorientation, and programming of the new facility to accomplish both.

Throughout the design process, DELV was intentional about looking for new opportunities to solve issues. They proposed innovative ideas and strategies that had not been incorporated into prior FFD projects and renovations.

Steve Orusa
Steve Orusa
Fire Chief, Fishers Fire Dept.

TOUR THE STATION VIRTUALLY

Distinctly Firehouse

Distinctly Firehouse

Using traditional elements such as red brick, limestone arches, and red doors it is distinctly recognizable to the public as a fire station. 

Dynamic + Reflective

Dynamic + Reflective

On the inner, eastern side where it interfaces with hundreds of pedestrians gathering for events at the amphitheater, farmer’s market or simply playing on the lawn, the 2nd story protrudes and bends in response to the natural circulation pathClad distinctively in metal panels and glass, its different yet durable materials are dynamic and reflective, just like its City. 

Behavioral Cues

Behavioral Cues

Beyond its symbolism, the two “faces” were designed to give specific behavioral cues. Fire fighters have always been challenged with balancing their role as public-figures and effective first responders, juggling their occupational duties with the frequent and often drop-in requests for tours. Layer on the public facing activities of the department headquarters and there was an amplified need to influence the public access points for their safety and the fire fighters privacy. 

Fire Station 91

Long-term Health

It’s striking that those who are first to rescue others from harmful environments often return to facilities that can put their own health in jeopardy. The team was determined to find ways to reduce the fire fighter’s exposure to the dangerous carcinogens that come into the station on their clothing and equipment after a call. 

Managing Harmful Contaminants

Managing Harmful Contaminants

By using pressurized zoning the design minimizes opportunities for cross-contamination, both through direct contact and airborne contaminants. Mechanical systems were designed appropriately for either positive or negative pressure and materials were selected to prevent entrapment of these elements. Choreographing the flow of equipment, from cleaning to storage, ensures a healthy environment for fire fighters as well as visitors. 

Restorative Rest

Restorative Rest

Emergencies aren’t on a 9 to 5 schedule; proper rest during their extended live-in shifts is vital to their ability to serve and rescue at a moment’s notice. Physical changes were made to the typical “house side” layout adding private bedrooms and advanced alerting system capabilities that would only alert those needed and allow others to continue to sleep undisturbed. Removing daylight cues and acoustic distractions, the new design provides a higher quality of rest and recovery; this improves not just mental and physical health, but elevates their performance as well.  

Physical Fitness

Physical Fitness

Physical training is essential for fire fighter’s optimal performance in high-stress emergency situations. An expanded gym was located on the first level, adjacent to the ampitheater lawn for easy indoor/outdoor cross training accessibility.

ELEVATED ON-SITE TRAINING

 

 

Fire Station 91
Maximizing Response Time

Four-fold Bay Doors

These style doors shave critical seconds off of response times. They are safer and more energy efficient than traditional overhead styles.

Maximizing Response Time

Flooring Finishes

Apparatus Bay

Distinct flooring finishes facilitate speed and traction, providing visual cues for safe exits when a call comes in.

Maximizing Response Time

Minimizing Steps

Calculating steps from bed to bay, sleeping area corridors were designed to directly align with ramps into the apparatus bays.

  • The Sound of History

    The Sound of History

    Repurposing and relocating an historic city siren to the top of the hose tower was a way to give honor to the community’s rich past.  

  • Restoration of Fire Pole

    Restoration of Fire Pole

    91’s fire pole was carefully preserved, restored, and utilized for quick access into the bays from the 2nd level.

  • Heroism Honored

    Heroism Honored

    Valor Memorial prominently honors department heroes.

Fire Station 91

Storytelling

Bold, custom graphics with silhouettes of the station’s actual firefighters were wrapped around the public entry stairs as a means of both wayfinding and storytelling. During tours with schools and groups alike, this stair experience reminds visitors of the heroic role the men and women of 91 serve in the community.

From that first meeting, DELV listened to our wants and needs and was able to design a station that of which we, as an end-user, are proud. The function and aesthetics were both captured while honoring the rich traditions our profession and department carry.

Todd Rielage
Todd Rielage
Fire Captain, Fishers Fire Station 91

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