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Bundamba Fire Station

Planning for Bundamba Fire Station is configured around two central circulation paths, one a general thoroughfare linking the administrative and communal spaces in the building to the Engine Room, and another for immediate access to the Turnout spaces from the Recline rooms. This dual carriage maximises flow through the building in times of emergency.

The single storey Station and lineal bank of store spaces flank the more voluminous Engine Room, where fire trucks are stored. Positioned to allow a continuous vehicular loop from Brisbane Road to the connecting Lower McCormack Street, the double height Engine Room takes on a rudimentary form in order to conserve finances for a more articulated expression to the Station proper.

Conceptually, the form and materiality of the Station is derived with reference to two seminal fire station projects widely respected in the international architectural community. Concepts began with a study of Robert Venturi’s Fire Station No. 5 in the States and Zaha Hadid’s Vitra Fire Station in Germany. Many of the concepts relating to the former did not survive the rigours of the D&C procurement process, but the sampling of elements of Hadid’s work, particularly at the entry, remained. This was fitting since Hadid unexpectedly passed away only months before design began on the Station, so in a way it stands in homage to her breakthrough project.

Aside from the exploration of these two projects, material selection for the building drew upon a concept of charcoal, smoke and fire, and the external palette combines these three in a textural play around the building.

Sustainability principles are emphasised as well, with rooftop solar and water tanks conserving consumption, double glazing reducing heat load to the north and insulating from the aggressive Brisbane Road frontage, and screening limiting sun penetration internally.

Overall, Bundamba Fire Station introduces a dynamic addition to the Brisbane Road streetscape and renews, in a contemporary way, this important facility to the local community.  Image: arkLAB

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