Ithaca Fire House
Fire station capable of sustaining eight live in firefighters, four or more engines, as well as providing public spaces for community tours and informational gatherings and exhibitions. This fire station is divided into three programmatic layers connected by a series of circulatory interstice. From this nexus, a series of corridors and catwalks radiate outward. The living spaces and public observation areas are elevated and wrapped around the building to engage the lake and hillsides, while the fire trucks are put on display within the atrium space until necessary dispatch.
The design of the fire station focuses on the blurred boundaries between public display and proper daily functionality. While the building is meant to serve the programmatic needs of the firefighters, the incorporation for public accessibility influenced the design in how the building would address the commingling of the two groups. Separated by public and private spaces, the public has the ability to observe firefighters and their daily activity through a system of catwalks accessible through the main lobby. Using the design principles of the Casa del fascio, the three story atrium space occupied by the fire bays provides both public guests, and firefighters to oversee activity below. With the space illuminated by four massive skylights which flood the atrium and bays with natural sunlight throughout the course of the day, the light is then easily transferred to the private areas surrounding the bays through windowed layers within the building. Movement through the fire station is guided by the firefighters schedule and flow of activity throughout the day, creating a series of access points to the fire bays below for quick entry in case of emergencies. The expression of layering through circulation reinforces the projects parti of the fire station as both a machine and public amenity.