Exploitation Center for the Forest Fire Fighters

Exploitation Center for the Forest Fire Fighters

NBJ Architectes
Brissac, France
Fire stations
Serge Demailly

Exploitation Center for the forest fire fighters in Brissac

NBJ Architectes as Architects

The site of establishment of the center of exploitation and the building for the forests fire fighters of Brissac is in the middle of a space strongly vegetalized, composed of hills covered with regional plants and vast agricultural plains which transcribe the very specific character of this area. These natural elements are a major asset to the site, and it is fundamental to take them into account in the design of this new building. Leaving at the same time the natural character of the site and need for protecting the landscape, this equipment makes offers a pleasant practice to its users and is set in harmony into the site.

Thus the project aims at being a part of the landscape, like an additional line of declivity which yields to circumvent and preserve the major elements of the landscape such as the large trees or the planted slopes. Thus preserving all the identifiable elements of the site, the building is stretched in foot of hill.

A particular care is brought to the carparks, in order to minimize their impact and to simplify their functioning. They are treated with vegetalized paving stones and receive shade with plantations of trees chosen among the one already present on the site. Within the hollow of the fold, in front of the offices, a planted square takes place. This space associated to the protection of the large trees already present proposes an optimal quality of life for a daily practice.

Explanation of the architectural concept

The positions of the new exploitation center and of the building for the forest fire fighters define two zones: on one side, the hill; a green zone with intimate spaces for the agents and to the North a storage area for several materials. Taking advantage of the trees, these spaces are sheltered from the exterior, in order to have private terraces, rest and leisure spaces, or to block the view of ungracious elements that can sometimes be stored.

On the other side, the plain gets an optimum interface avec the garages, the manoeuvre platform is set between the building and a landscape design of the fringes made of the parking space and storm water basin. Conceived in the continuity of the surrounding plant masses these limits attenuate the incidence of the fence in the landscape and create a visual and hearing filter between the new center of exploitation and the plain. The building is composed of a fold developing three principal facades: the roof, the East elevation, and the Western elevation. The two side elevations show their differences, expressing their relationship to the landscape. The East elevation, giving onto the plain primarily consists of “corten”, matter textured the tons of which are in harmony with the environment. The West elevation consists in a translucent catch of day between two tended lines, that of the roof and that of the floor. It is composed of fine wood strips that enable to filter the light. Thus it is a much textured skin that is offered to the building thanks to simple materials.

To the North, are the spaces for the forest fire fighters and to the South those for the exploitation centre. In the middle, offices are to be found, common space and hall in order to optimize the circulation and programmatic distribution. Only jutting out element, the reception hall shows a separation of the skin opens onto the outside and organizes pedestrian circulation, the reception hall for the visitors, the way to the offices. Its skin is made of fine wood strips, positions in the continuity of the West elevation. It thus ensures a dialogue between the two sides of the line formed by the building. Thus, with ordinary elements, with no bid, we created the exploitation center and the building for the forest fire fighters of Brissac.

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