Mt. Laurel Fire Station

 

Mt. Laurel Fire Station was created as a simple, well-proportioned structure that would become the central civic building for the new traditional town.  Driven by a budget of $700,000 the focus of this prominent civic building was to maximize its design presence through key moves within the traditional vernacular of Firehouse design.  Anchoring the station’s identity is a tower rising from the corner of the site, traditionally used to dry fire hoses its reinterpretation serves as a lookout post within the stations 4200 square foot program.  The design strategy was given special attention from the developer and architect because it establishes the material and aesthetic context for the new downtown area.

To meet the goal within the budget, the client agreed to put all focus and resources on the exterior of the building while using utilizing passive solar design and local materials to control the cost and efficiency.  The developer contributed by collecting the indigenous field-stone from the nearby mountainside, thus saving the energy and cost required to quarry and transports the material from off site. The fire station’s postage stamp site required a sensitive design approach resulting in minimal site disturbance and controlled runoff to adjacent lots. Generous amounts of glass, coupled with deep overhangs, were key components of the passive solar design approach, allowing the station to operate most all day without turning on the lights. The Mt. Laurel Fire Station uses its prominent placement within the master planning of its community to establish a vocabulary using simple forms, indigenous materials and a thoughtful approach to its environment in serving as a recognizable symbol of the Mt. Laurel community.

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