Galveston Fire Station #4

City of Galveston
Galveston, Texas, USA

This fire and rescue station is located on Galveston Island and serves as the primary fire and rescue support for island residences, the nearby international airport, and Galveston Beach. The building is protected from extreme weather conditions by cast-in-place concrete, acrylic panels on extruded aluminum framing, metal panel enclosure and ipe decking. The Fire | Beach House, equipped with its own generator and communication system, is conceived as a self-contained unit capable of maintaining critical services in the face of a hurricane affecting the nearby airport or other parts of the city.

Having an airport address that is less than three blocks from the Gulf of Mexico allows for a beach house respite for the firemen. The building itself can also transform from the relaxing atmosphere to a rescue command center in the case of a hurricane or flood.

In the same way that pile dwellings are raised above the earth to protect the structure from storm and flood damage, the Fire | Beach House elevates the living quarters above the utility bays.  The analogy is further explored in the iconic images of fire, aviation, and beach rescue towers. Each represents a raised observation and living quarter above a more utilitarian and functional base. The apparatus bays act as a bypass for the potential rising waters to allow the living unit to survive the 20 foot storm surge.

Awards

  • 2014 Finalist - Architizer A+ Awards
  • 2013 Honor Award -American Institute of Architects (AIA) Nebraska chapter
  • 2013 Design Award - Texas Society of Architects
  • 2012 Honor Award, Unbuilt Emerging Professional Category - American Institute of Architects (AIA), Central States
  • 2012 Studio Design Award - Texas Society of Architects
  • 2011 Citation Award, Unbuilt Category - American Institute of Architects (AIA) Dallas​