Fire Station 91 (Under Construction)

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.

The Story

With the health of firefighters 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 a 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 30,000 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
30,000 SF
Type
New Construction
Location
Fishers, IN
Health

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. 

By using various 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. 

 

Wellness

Wellness

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.  

Expeditious Response Times

Expeditious Response Times

We know that seconds matter so we were meticulous when it came to laying out the station for optimal response times. The team evaluated numerous options, carefully calculating steps from bed to bay and examining circulation paths. Sleeping area corridors directly align with ramps into the apparatus bays and are positioned closer than those areas where users are awake. Two options for vertical circulation directly into the bays were designed, the north stair and a fire pole, both leading directly to air locks. 

Flooring finishes facilitate speed and traction and incorporating side folding apparatus bay doors are both safer and faster to open. The apparatus bays were oriented on the unique ellipse site to eliminate blocked views as they exit on their way to a call. 

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 contextan elliptical layout with high-volume public interactionhow 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.

 

 

 

Distinctly Firehouse

Distinctly Firehouse

By placing the apparatus bays on the outer portion of the site with traditional station elements such as red brick, limestone arches, and red doors, it was both immediately accessible for fast exits with clear site lines and 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. 

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

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