With its brass fire pole shining through the glass bay doors, there is a sense of nostalgia within the modern design of the new satellite fire station in North Royalton, Ohio – exactly the effect that Fire Chief Michael Fabish envisioned.
When the City of North Royalton, a suburb of Cleveland, decided to add a satellite station to a residential neighborhood, Chief Fabish wanted the public facility to be welcoming. “I want kids on bikes to feel free to ride up and peek inside – remember what that was like?” he asks.
Although the fire pole provides a quick way to exit the upper mezzanine level, it was included in the design primarily for nostalgic reasons.
“School children expect to see a fire pole when they visit, but these pieces of history are becoming rare. B&N’s architects were determined that we could incorporate this traditional element into our modern station,” Chief Fabish said.
Another historic element incorporated into the building design is a 30-foot hose tower – a device once commonly used to dry out hoses. This piece not only adds to the architectural character of the building, but the fire department uses it in lieu of a modern dryer to reduce maintenance and energy costs.
The Chief worked with B&N to design an efficient, functional, public service facility, as well as a friendly and approachable structure. “You may not realize it, but some people come to fire stations looking for help in emergency situations,” he notes. Details like an emergency call box on the building’s exterior that connects to a dispatcher when the crew is out on a call are essential parts of the design.
Additional features of the 6,000-square-foot building include drive-through emergency vehicle access, apparatus bays for three vehicles, living spaces that include an office area, living room, kitchen, dormitory, and locker room, and the mezzanine which is used for weight training and storage.
Chief Fabish states, “B&N certainly accomplished the look we were hoping for; that is, one that is not commercial or institutional, but is part of the residential community. Our neighbors are glad to have such a beautiful building next to them. This project should be considered a feather in B&N’s cap.”
In addition to this new satellite station, B&N designed renovations to the main fire station which included overhead glass doors that let in more natural light, a gabled roof and a new hose tower.
Dave Meeson, AIA, served as the project architect for the satellite station, and Rick DeMarco, AIA, NCARB, was the project architect for the renovation of the main station.