In Quarters: Kirkland, WA, Fire Station 24

Dec. 17, 2022
Community and firefighter health and safety were central to the design and planning of Fire Station 24.

This facility received the Satellite Gold Award in the 2022 Firehouse Station Design Awards. Find the full list of winners here

The needs of the city of Kirkland’s Fire Station 24 were determined by a facilities assessment and master planning effort, which commenced in 2011. Based on extensive programming, test-to-fits, GIS modeling and site rankings, the site of the station was selected from 25 considered properties. The two-and-a-half-acre site is located between business and residential uses, and an elementary school is directly across the street. The site area allowed for the development of Fire Station 24 at the parcel’s southern half and for the future use of the northern half as a fire department training facility (infrastructure for this future utilization was included in the Fire Station 24 project).

Community and firefighter health and safety were central to the design and planning of Fire Station 24. Zones were developed for community gathering, work, recovery and contamination mitigation. Turnout travel paths were optimized based on schedule analysis, daily routines and operational activities. Laddering and rope training areas were integrated into the apparatus bay and rear apron. The firefighter courtyard and fitness room provide secure indoor/outdoor connections. Transparency in the building’s envelope increases in public areas and in response to residential/business zoning transitions, and the glass corner of the southeast apparatus bay showcases Fire Station 24’s function. In addition to extensive right-of-way improvements (e.g., protected bike lanes), the station’s civic front offers a public art plaza. The plaza encourages community engagement and hosts educational tours for neighboring school students. The project incorporated a solar array and will achieve LEED Silver Certification.

The health and safety design approach was stress-tested as design documents were developed in March of 2020, when the city of Kirkland came into national focus as COVID-19 emerged in the United States. Being among the initial first responders to face the pandemic, the fire department worked with the design team to ensure that equipment, systems and spatial sequencing optimally supported decontamination procedures and policies.

As part of protracted land acquisition efforts, the city agreed to maintain an access drive through the site for public and commercial utilization. The drive, along with the existing public school access to the south, led to the development of a four-leg, fully signalized intersection. The design of the apron, the intersection, signals, channelization and the pedestrian crosswalk ensures safe and efficient control for responding and returning apparatus.

The design team developed conceptual programming for a future training center at the parcel’s north half. The Fire Station 24 project included utility connections and storm detention for integration of the future development.

Architect/Firm Name: TCA Architecture + Planning     

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