Situated within a suburb dominated by landscape, the design for the Templestowe Fire Station was generated from the ambition to harmoniously integrate built form with the natural environment. As a result, the fire station sits low in its site, embedded in its garden setting. The pragmatic requirements of a fire station demanded that the building’s plan adhere to a single level throughout all areas.
Such functional constraints necessitated 60% of site coverage, creating opportunities for significant landscaped areas including a large private recreational courtyard featuring a BBQ between the sleeping and living wings. Along the south and east boundaries, the landscaping acts as a green buffer, and in combination with the station’s sound walls, serves to minimize acoustic disturbance to neighbouring properties.
Further consideration of adjacent residences has informed the setbacks of the station, as far away as practicable from the property boundaries. Consequently, the station sits flush with the street edge along Williamson Road, presenting as a series of dynamic and textured concrete panels that are, at times, pulled apart to allow natural light and ventilation to filter into the interior, as well as afford glimpses out. Running along the street edge, the linear concrete façade responds to the particularities of the neighbourhood – one dominated by retaining garden walls and high fences – but also pre-empts the passing car’s blurred ‘drive-by’ experience of the facility.