Jeanne Gang’s fire station brings civic design to deep Brooklyn neighborhood

Architecture East Unveiled
(Courtesy Studio Gang)

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

Chicago-based Studio Gang is designing a modern fire station for the Brownsville community in Brooklyn. The two-story, precast concrete structure, to be built on a vacant lot at 1815 Sterling Place, includes bright red accents as the facade pulls away from the street plane.

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

The so-called Fire Rescue 2 facility “is intended to become a tool for training, enabling FDNY Company 2, an elite force of firefighters and specialized rescue workers serving the people of New York for nearly a century, to stage and simulate a wide range of emergency conditions in, on, and around the building,” according to a project description from Studio Gang.

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

This training program inspired Jeanne Gang, the firm’s principal, in designing the building. “During emergencies, the Company must often utilize voids in buildings,” the firm stated, “whether creating them to let heat and smoke out of a structure or locating them as a means of escape.” The structure’s design responds with its own voids demarcated in red that reveal windows, staircases, and a second-floor terrace.

The facade of the 19,000-square-foot structure will be built of precast concrete and red glazed terracotta tiles. The 46-foot-tall structure is meant to respond to the scale of neighborhood buildings.

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

Gang organized the fire house around a central interior that “enables the team to practice rescue scenarios that mimic conditions common to the city.” The space is a sort of modern recreation of balconies, bridges, doorways, ladders, and stairs that the firefighters might encounter in the city. The void dually allows air and light to penetrate deep into the structure, enhancing the living quarters for the firefighters.

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

While the facade’s jagged geometry and bright color conveys the structure’s purpose and sense of urgency, the interiors are designed to help firefighters cool off. Inside, a kitchen forms the hub of social life for the firefighters, adding another layer of heat to the project’s design.

Plenty of green space, including a backyard and open-air porches, allows the firefighters to cool off when not on duty. Studio Gang is working with SCAPE / Landscape Architecture on the project.

The building also includes several sustainable gestures such as a green roof, geothermal HVAC system, and a solar hot-water system.

Fire Rescue 2 is programmed to include office space, dormitories for firefighters, a kitchen, exercise rooms, training space, and storage.

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

(Courtesy Studio Gang)

“With its adaptable spaces, environmental approach, and civic scale, the new Rescue 2 firehouse is both a neighborhood fixture and important piece of infrastructure, supporting a highly trained corps who safeguard those who call New York home,” Studio Gang stated.

Permits for the project were filed in October 2015, according to real estate watch-blog New York YIMBY. The project is estimated to be complete in 2017.

In July 2015, the design was honored with an Award for Excellence in Design from the New York City Public Design Commission. Elsewhere in New York, Studio Gang is working on a major expansion to the American Museum of National History and an embattled condo tower along the High Line called the Solar Carve. The firm has opened a New York office to handle the increased workload. Also, don’t miss AN‘s exclusive interview with Jeanne Gang while kayaking the Chicago River here.

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