FIRESTATION_manhattan,ks_4th year student project

This was a fourth year project completed at Kansas State University under Christopher Spaw.  The purpose of this semester was to take a project from Schematic Design to Design Development, and then complete a simple set of Construction Documents.


The site for this building is located on a 150’ x 90’ downtown Manhattan, Kansas corner lot. The largest requirement of a fire station is getting fire trucks with their large turning radii in and out of the apparatus room and allowing for the greatest amount of flexibility of parking arrangements.  The biggest issue of building a fire station on this location was the massing of building to accommodate the greatest amount and flexibility of fire truck parking based on maximum turning radius.

From the studying fire truck turning radii came the massing of two boxes, a narrow 140’ x 20’ living bar adjacent to the street with a wider mechanical bar perpendicular to it. This massing allowed for the largest truck to park in any stall of the apparatus room and easily pull out onto the street.

These boxes were clearly articulated in section, two crystalline structures tucked into the urban fabric. These glass boxes necessitated protection from the sun and privacy in certain places, and they needed a connection a connection with one another, making too buildings one. From this came the design of a wrapping screen. This screen was engineered for the differing functions within.  In some places blocking harsh southern light while letting in northern light and opening up views to the outside for public areas and blocking views for private areas.


The majority of design was completed through modeling and then moved to drafting, in this case Vector Works.  Shown above are some of the models numbered for their place in development.  Also shown is the same section in Schematic, DD, and CD phases.

Simple materials: glass, concrete, brushed aluminum, translucent ceiling panels, and exposed CMU, allow the two boxes, one for man and one for machine, to exist in the background and become neutral containers. This allows the objects which distinguish the two boxes from each other to be on display.

The panels are perforated in a brick pattern. Three sides of each “brick” are cut out and the forth is bent. The amount of bend can be altered according to the angle of the mounting surface, angle of the sun, or for other desired effects, particularly responding to views.

Panels are either installed so that the tabs are open to the sky, allowing direct sunlight and privacy from the street, or they are installed so that the tabs are open to the ground, blocking direct radiation and allowing views to the outside.

The end product of the project was a 44 page set of Construction Documents.  A sample of a wall section is shown above.