The design of the fire station and the youth center is a temporary association joint project by C2O–ORG. C2O was responsible for the design of the youth center, ORG for the fire station. The urban plan of the site involved both architecture offices with collaboration led by urban designers from ORG.
The site is located on the outer edge of the ring road that circles the city of Asse, Belgium. Beyond the ring road the landscape is open, rural. A“land-form” concept was invented to preserve landscape features and create a dialogue with the new work. The land form is scaled appropriately to the landscape and organizes all building into one communal shape.The landform is wrapped with a perforated metal ribbon. As a singular and bounded entity, the form does not suggest sprawling growth in any direction, but rather offers a vision for future landscape, infrastructure and building decisions.
A subtle bend in the landform denotes the principal entrance to the site and an opening in the ribbon brings the surrounding landscape into focus. A public plaza between the youth center and the fire station defines a formal front. The plaza acts as a 'town square' by gathering and distributing many users: pedestrians, cyclists, cars, buses, emergency vehicles and firetrucks. It is within the public plaza where a principle ideological basis for the project is confirmed. Upon entering the plaza: the site, form, and scale akin to a “Big-Box” setting is designed to create a civic environment.
The fire station, designed by ORG, has a solid, sober, and functional appearance. The exterior is a regulated panel system of concrete and anthracite zinc. The fire station’s construction logic maintains a certain banality characteristic of Big Box typologies, however, detailing precision shifts the typologies underlying emphasis on quantity to evoking a sense of disruption from conventional building standards. In addition to material joints, alignments, and finishes, building voids in front of, beside, and in between the programmatic spaces embed moments of self-awareness in the building’s repetitive and economical construction logic.
The building programs are organized around three outdoor squares, all within the landform and metal ribbon. A circulation corridor cuts through the programmatic spaces. In addition to the squares and corridor, the upper levels are formally distinguished. Four volumes–each with different functions, roof slopes, and separated by roof gardens–are supported and punctuated by glue laminated beams painted red. Here the landform and metal ribbon is restrained and the upper areas take on an airy, expressive architectonic quality.
Material Used :
Concrete Prefabricated Panels, grid of 2,4 by 2,4m
Anthracite Zink vertical Panels, grid of 60cm wide, height varying according to roof
Windows in Aluminum, dark grey
Sectional gates for the garage, dark grey
Polished concrete in garages, technical rooms and warehouse
Polyurethane cast house floor
Only central staircase is lined with wood
Prefabricated concrete columns and beams
Laminated wooden beams (painted red) for roofs
Combination of prefab hollow core slabs and slabs poured in situ