Seattle Fire Station 32
Seattle, Washington, United States
City of Seattle Fire Station 32 is an 18,000 square-foot facility located in the heart of the fast-growing West Seattle Alaska Junction neighborhood. This centrally located station houses Engine Company 32, Ladder Company 11, Medic Unit 32, and Battalion Chief 7 serving West Seattle. The project site occupies the threshold between single-family residential areas and denser neighborhood commercial zones. Providing a civic presence, the station provides for the quick response of firefighters and medics, while addressing the scale of the visitor, the street and the neighborhood in a durable, efficient and sustainable building.
The layout of the fire station was largely driven by the parameters of the apparatus bay. The compact site necessitated a four-story building, with basement storage and three floors above grade, as well as stacked tandem parking spaces for station staff. The lower floors of the station are used for operational and administrative functions, while the longer third floor houses firefighter living spaces. Public spaces, such as the beanery and station office, are visible along the street, while private bunk rooms and individual offices are located along the quieter residential sides.
The station entry is marked by a large public art piece: a 25-foot-tall wall-mounted fire truck sculpture inspired by toy fire trucks carved by a West Seattle resident for the previous Fire Station 32. A low canopy draws visitors into the entry vestibule where they can receive free blood pressure screenings. The spacious vestibule provides views into the apparatus bay and bunker gear storage room: the staging area for firefighter protective gear.
The fully glazed north wall of the apparatus bay along SW Alaska Street showcases the 59-foot-long ladder truck and firefighter activities within for nearby residents and passers-by. Visible beyond the ladder truck and engine, a pair of two-story brass sliding poles provide direct access from the third floor living quarters above. At the exterior rear apron along SW Alaska Street, ladder truck equipment checks and firefighter hose and ladder drilling exercises are visible to the public.
The hose drying tower acts as a visual marker for the station between the southern residential hillside and tall mixed-use buildings to the north. With a subtle lantern effect at night, the tower acts as a beacon of safety for residents and visitors.
In addition to providing fast response times for firefighters, the building is designed to enhance firefighter well-being and has generous natural daylighting and views to the exterior throughout. The station is designed to be highly energy efficient and is anticipated to achieve LEED Platinum certification.