SLC Fire Department Training Center
Category: up to $2.5 million in construction cost
This project, a facility for the Salt Lake City Fire Department’s training exercises, breathes new life into an existing building and achieves a dynamic new civic façade. The original intention for the project was to demolish an existing but largely abandoned station to make room for a pre-engineered metal building. However, the design team convinced the department that it could maximize its $1.3 million construction budget by adapting the largely abandoned station while also being more environmentally responsible.
"The project excels on many levels and demonstrates the potential of re-use and transformation." - Jury comment
The new training center is built upon the shell of the former 7,300-square-foot station located on the city’s western edge. Given the neighborhood’s assemblage of industrial development spanning several decades and the raw nature of its context, the center features an effective cladding strategy that provides texture, depth, and movement. It also operates as a double skin that assists with cooling the building and shades its openings.
After extensively researching sheet metal products, the team developed two cladding widths of the same height. They are bent, folded, and shaped into modules that can be rotated 180 degrees to create an array of profiles across the center’s façade. As a way to distinguish the building further, the cladding is painted “fire engine red,” and the existing building shell, which serves as a backdrop, is a muted grey.
“The project excels on many levels and demonstrates the potential of re-use and transformation,” said the jury. “There is a wonderful graphic quality to the façade strategy that elevates a sense of civic presence.”
"There is a wonderful graphic quality to the façade strategy that elevates a sense of civic presence." - Jury comment
Since the center offers administrative and recruit training, the overall program requirements were relatively simple. Among its spaces are a handful of private offices, a collaborative workspace, two recruit training rooms, and the apparatus bay for hands-on training. Working within the structural limitations of the concrete tees of the existing structure, the team opted to lengthen existing window openings to allow more daylight to enter the shared workspaces. In addition, interior storefront systems help filter daylight from the offices on the perimeter into the central areas, transforming a once dim and cavernous space into a bright, energetic environment.