This facility received the Special Design Award in the 2022 Firehouse Station Design Awards. Find the full list of winners here.
Upon initiating the design for the new Charleston Fire Department Station 11, city leaders asked that the building be iconic, with a meaningful presence that would convey transparency of operation and a reverent nod to its significant neighbor: The station was constructed next to the site of the former Sofa Super Store, where nine firefighters perished in 2007 while fighting a fire.
The design team and Charleston Fire Department met at the Charleston 9 Memorial before design began for a discussion of the Sofa Super Store fire, the personal effects of the event and how it has shaped the organization. The new station isn’t intended to be a memorial or remembrance of the event; it’s seen as a representation of transformation and the future. The department requested that the fire apparatus in the apparatus bay be visible from the Memorial Park, to represent the evolution and future of the organization.
With a design that’s inspired by historic Charleston fire station building language, the new station features a monumental arch opening at the apparatus bays. On the façade, which fronts the Memorial Park, nine tall vertical windows pay tribute to the fallen heroes. The building includes a Command Training Center for simulation and remote incident command training, which is a program that was borne out of the losses of the Sofa Super Store fire and underscores the continued effect of that event in transforming the fire department.
In addition to the three-bay apparatus room and the training center, the two-story facility houses administrative spaces and sleeping and living quarters. A bell tower, which is inspired by the old fire watch towers in the historic district, defines the main entry to the building. The historic bell, which is from the former Meeting Street Station, was refurbished and now rings daily.
Architect/Firm Name: Liollio Architecture