The prompt this year was to design a fire station in Alexandria, VA. There were TONS of programmatic elements that were required, like truck bays and dormitories and a community center and even residential housing. I was pissed when I first read the prompt- I was angry and tired and hungry and it was so much to do. So I went home, ate an entire box of macaroni and cheese, and sewed my blocks for Gen X's BOM. I am SO HAPPY with how they turned out. Literally, ecstatic. And taking that evening to do something not architecture related let me start the competition on Saturday with high spirits.
As far as my design for the prompt is concerned, I'm really proud of it. It's not going to win and I'm terrible at computer rendering (and therefore making my drawings look awesome), but I love what I designed.
I reflected on the role that fire fighters play in my life, and sadly it's a very small one. I've never met a fire fighter, I've never been to a fire station, and I don't even know where the station in Blacksburg is. So I wanted to design a facility that could bring the community together and really show off what fire fighters do for a community. The buildings are all arranged around the community center, which is the white and black building in the middle of the lot. The white cube is 13x13x13 feet, a perfect cube, which is striking against the other buildings on the site.
The fire fighters' dorms are in the black skinny building on top of the brown fire station. There's a school near the site, and the dorms are angled in line with the school. The edge of the building is where the kitchen and lounge are, and there's a huge window back there overlooking a nature preserve. I wanted to create a nice place for the fire fighters to relax. Also, the way that the dorm cantilevers off of the station is reminiscent of smoke billowing from a fire.
The apartments were the half-baked idea of the complex, I didn't really worry about those too much. When you've got about 64 hours to design a building, some things just get dropped. But parking for the apartments and for the firefighters is designed beneath the overhanging buildings.
Color wise, I used fire inspired colors in the compound. The browns and reds remind you of logs and flames, while the smoky grey of the dorm reminds you of, well, smoke. The white hot center of the fire is the white community center, and the buildings connected to the center are black, like coals.
I'm not being very eloquent right now, but that's basically my idea. I like it a lot. I need to work on my presentation for sure, but I am so proud of what I was able to accomplish in one weekend.