In Quarters: Santa Monica, CA, Fire Station No. 1

Feb. 16, 2021
Fire Station No. 1 is located in downtown Santa Monica, providing the city's core with a much-needed modern and expanded fire station.

This facility received a Career 1 Bronze Award in Firehouse's 2020 Station Design Awards. Find the full list of winners here.

The Santa Monica Hose and Ladder Company was founded in 1889. Since then, the Santa Monica Fire Department has served the community with dedication, integrity and pride. Fire Station No. 1, which is located downtown in a mixed neighborhood of residential and retail businesses, serves the core of the city with a much-needed modern and expanded fire station.

The station was designed with three key concepts in mind: transparency, community and pride. At first glance, from the front apron of the station, you notice these values. The station’s front façade is enhanced with clear, eye-level glass at the public lobby, community room and six apparatus bays, which showcases the impeccably maintained equipment and a collection of historical firefighting memorabilia. Although the building is secure and living spaces are private, the message is that this fire station is the firefighters’ home and that the community is welcome to visit.

The fire station’s front and alley façades are a mix of stucco and brick, in response to firefighters’ request to match the traditional brick from the original Fire Station No. 1 that was located down the street. The brick also recalls the use of brick throughout downtown Santa Monica over the past century.

To meet the city’s environmental goals, the project is slated for a LEED Silver certification. Sustainable strategies include natural daylighting and ventilation, photovoltaic panels, LED lighting, and other water- and energy-saving techniques. The apparatus bay and most of the common spaces and corridors are flooded with natural light.

Although this facility’s primary requirement is to serve the needs of the fire department and enhance their performance during emergencies, it assumes the broader responsibility of contributing socially to the community.

Architect/Firm Name: Rob Wellington Quigley, FAIA 

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