Owner: Clark County, Nevada
Architect: BJG Architecture + Engineering
Landscape Architect: JW Zunino & Associates
Masonry Contractor: Henderson Masonry
General Contractor: CG & B Enterprises, Inc.
As BJG Architecture + Engineering engaged the programming process, the firm’s initial move was to define a set of performance goals that would serve, throughout the entire project, as a conceptual standard for reference in programming and design decisions. The intent was to ensure an internally consistent and reactive process. In response, BJG established the four performance goals listed below:
• minimizing call (alarm) response time
• ensuring a positive response to local context
• enhancing the quality of personnel habitation
• creating a positive aesthetic and visual image
All fire station facilities share a common goal – minimizing call (alarm) response time. Response responsibilities include fire suppression and EMS functions, but may also require additional capabilities for hazard material events and rescue operations. In all cases minimizing response time for these functions remains the essential goal. Circulation of personnel and vehicles through the facility and the appropriate placement of functional areas are direct, unobstructed and efficient.
Second, satellite fire stations are distributed throughout the metropolitan area with local geographic responsibility. Sites for such facilities may occur in residential neighborhoods, but more often they are within zones adjacent to small commercial, professional, or retail centers. For this reason a positive response to local context as a condition to community acceptance is essential. The simplicity of the masonry and steel design finds compatibility with both architectural vocabularies.
A third goal addresses the facility’s quality of personnel habitation and usability functions required to support the station’s response requirements. The fire station serves as “home” for fire fighting personnel, and given the nature of their work, they may often remain mostly within the facility for an entire 24 hour day. Effective design of the physical environment presented a residential context that enhanced fire fighter’s quality of life, which in turn supported both readiness and performance capabilities.
Last, as a definitive design goal, aesthetic and visual response of the design is crucial. The fire station as an entity in the real world belongs to all the city’s citizens, and it will belong to them far into the future. A clearly articulated textural and sensitively composed positive aesthetic content is essential to its life acceptance as a built artifact. The primary masonry and steel construction materials afforded the durability, longevity and aesthetic quality necessary for this important public safety facility.
While the Fire Station Program identified individual components describing in detail the features and characteristics of each functional component, there were several design issues that were considered more global in nature. Generally, these addressed either infrastructure/system issues, or design intentions within the context of aesthetic and environmental concerns. These issues are:
• Gradual sound and light notification system throughout the station
• Local air control/ energy conservation throughout the facility
• Safety measures to protect against intrusions and assaults
• Design should reflect contemporary energy efficiency practices
• Habitation and living standards should have a residential character.
Fire Station #66 is the first of several planned Clark County Fire Stations to be based upon the Prototype Fire Station design developed for neighborhoods throughout Clark County, Nevada. This new fire station is sited at the edge of a regional park within a greater regional residential context. As the elevation studies shown here illustrate, there is a concern for maintaining both the scale and elemental character typical of the city’s contemporary neighborhood images. Initial texture studies, included a range of masonry types, colors and configurations, stucco treatments, and possibilities for metal detail applications. These materials are common to the regional influences historically associated with Las Vegas and the desert environment.