Fire One

Floor Plan







Fires don’t happen as much as they used to. Fire Prevention has become more and more of a focus for Fire Departments. Instead of just reacting to emergencies, it makes sense to prevent them from happening in the first place. About 85% of Portland Fire’s calls are now for emergency medical services. Like fires, many of these are preventable too.


It was our goal to design a state of the art fire station, and then encircle it with community outreach, to provide a place to educate the community on how to live in ways that reduce accidents. An exploratory path connects the Fire Museum to the Safety Learning Center. The combined attraction of the two community centers creates a magnet — a reason for people to come to Old Town.


Government buildings should set an example for building practices that benefit the community. Fire One was designed from the outset with an integrated design approach to be sustainable. Minimizing mechanical and lighting systems, conserving water, reusing storm water, and creating a healthy work environment were some of the green design components incorporated into the building.


The sidewalks around Fire One were empty. Historic buildings had been replaced by surface parking lots, separating the Old Town district from the riverfront. The situation reflected a general failure to take advantage of nearby surroundings, whether natural or urban. The sidewalk runs the length of the Fire Museum, welcoming people inside and throughout. Several large sliding doors disappear to create space for special events outside, such as the Davis Street Festival. Joined with the new Naito crossing, the Museum brings daily activity back to a forgotten street.


Old Town is made of courtyards, alleys and portals. These features give the neighborhood some of its unique character. The Museum courtyard provides a break in the street wall and extends an open invitation to passers-by. Fire One contributes a refreshing pause, adding to the special overall feel of the district.


Glass fins on the east façade mirror the light that plays on the river’s surface nearby while providing shading for the rooms behind. The roof shape is inspired by the ships that have passed through over the years.