Fire Central Headquarters and Fire Station No. 1

Client: Tucson Fire Department
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Size: 140,000 SF
2010 Bronze award winner in national Fire Chief Magazine Station Style Design competition. Best of 2010 Public/Govt. Projects in ENR-Southwest Contractor for exceptional design and construction. Metro Pima Alliance Common Ground Awards - two-time winner for effective collaboration.

WSM Architects was selected over other architectural firms short-listed for the City of Tucson Fire Central Design Competition. The new LEED Gold Fire Central houses the Fire Administration and Fire Prevention Departments, Fire Station #1, a new Fire Fighter's Memorial Plaza and a Tucson Fire Department History Museum. The site is located in Barrio Viejo, a historic neighborhood in Downtown Tucson. The building and site are designed to be a "good neighbor" to the Barrio. The building respects the community's culture and traditions. For example, the south portion of the site is given back to the Barrio as a formal Placita, designed in the spirit of a traditional Mexican plaza. Space is also provided for a memorial to the homes lost during the 1960's urban renewal.

In white stucco on masonry, the building encompasses 66,000 square feet of program, but is compatible in scale with the nearby adobe homes. In the spirit of a traditional fire station, a bell tower provides an observation patio from which the historic "5 Mile Bell" can be seen and heard. Our firm also performed the initial site evaluation and preliminary programming for the City of Tucson Fire Department.

One issue that arose during the design phase was a decision about whether or not to use a district chilled water plant for energy needs. The plant uses a CFC-based refrigerant, which is prohibited by LEED. By working with the plant, we were able to determine that it was not cost effective to replace the chiller with a new model and new refrigerant. This finding allowed an exemption from the LEED prerequisite.