This facility received the Career 2 Bronze Award in the 2022 Firehouse Station Design Awards. Find the full list of winners here.
Located on a barrier island that’s between Sarasota Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, this fire station’s site posed several unique design challenges.
The station is one of two that serve the island community of 7,650 full-time residents. The coastal island swells to more than 10,000 residents during the busy winter season. Only one road travels the island’s length from the north to the south. While providing the standard functions of a fire station, the building acts as a storm shelter and an emergency clinic. The structure must withstand hurricane-force winds and flooding, so it was built to emergency operation standards, which makes it one of the most resilient structures that are on the island.
The station incorporates a comprehensive plan for the health and safety of the firefighters and EMS personnel by using the most up-to-date cancer prevention recommendations that were developed by the IAFF. The program is organized into “dirty” and “clean” spaces to prevent carcinogens from entering the living quarters. The apparatus bays and the support spaces are considered “dirty,” or contaminated, spaces. Firefighters pass through a series of decontamination spaces when they return from a call and before they enter the station’s “clean” living quarters.
Both interior and exterior materials were selected for their simplicity and ease of maintenance. The clean lines and smooth surfaces that are assembled on the front of the structure are monumental, and they build up in height, leading to the main entrance on the south side of the building. Exterior materials are simple and easy to maintain in this coastal environment—stucco that has painted accents and staggered aluminum composite panels at the front façade. The station hosts many communitywide health events, which inspired the designers to enhance the building entry.
Architect/Firm Name: Sweet Sparkman Architecture & Interiors