Vancouver-based Assembly Architecture and Alberta-based S2 Architecture recently completed the Cambie Fire Hall No. 3 and BC Ambulance Services Station, a LEED Gold-seeking facility that shows how civic architecture can be beautiful, effective and sustainable. Built to serve the City of Richmond in British Columbia, the new building spans over 26,000 square feet and rises to three stories, with room for fire rescue vehicles and up to six ambulance vehicles. The station is illuminated by ample natural light during the day and is built to post-disaster standards.
The $20.7-million Cambie Fire Hall No. 3 and BC Ambulance Services Station sports a distinctly contemporary design with its geometric form, clean lines and abundance of glazing. The massing, design and use of transparency throughout were informed by the surrounding residential fabric and help reinforce ties between the new station and the community. The red cladding on the upper level adds a punch of color and is a nod to the red-brick architecture of traditional fire stations. The north stair tower is wrapped in translucent fiberglass panels to create a glowing beacon-like effect at night.
“From this notion, we looked at the building as an anchor to the local area and residences, as well as a landmark for the larger region,” explains Robert Lange, Principal-in-Charge in a project statement. “By listening carefully throughout the design process, the design team were able to create a design that immediately resonated with RFR and their vision for Hall No. 3.”
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The facility integrates fire-rescue and ambulance services under one roof and prioritizes natural lighting. A glazed outdoor patio, for instance, forms the organizing element around which the offices, kitchen and dining room are placed. The Cambie Fire Hall No. 3 and BC Ambulance Services Station will also serve as a Department Operations Center (DOC) thanks to post-disaster design features, such as the on-site emergency generator and tie-ins for concrete aprons, that keep the building operational even after a seismic event.
Images by Sunny Jhooty and Liam Wake, Lobby