written by:
September 27, 2011
Originally published in Made in the USA

When Seattle’s fire stations needed an overhaul, the city selected local architects to give these ultimate live/work spaces a modern-minded update.

Seattle, Washington, firefighters don’t need to bunk next to their trucks anymore. Thirteen architecture firms so far have been hired as part of a $300 million program to upgrade all 32 neighborhood stations by 2015 (20 substantial renovations and 12 new constructions), and each proposed a sustainable new style of fire-station living.

Fire Station 39 by Miller Hull Partnership.
Fire Station 39 by Miller Hull Partnership.
1 / 11
Fire Station 38 by Schreiber Starling & Lane Architects.
Fire Station 38 by Schreiber Starling & Lane Architects.
Courtesy of 
©Francis Zera
2 / 11
Fire Station 30 by Schacht Aslani Architects
Fire Station 30 by Schacht Aslani Architects
Courtesy of 
MICHAEL JENSEN
3 / 11
<strong>"Lifter" by Pete Beeman</strong><br /><br />
Really an interactive exhibit, when the crank at the bottom of the new 28-foot-tall powder-coated stainless steel sculpture gets turned, the steel-plated tubes at the top rise and fall together, creatin
"Lifter" by Pete Beeman Really an interactive exhibit, when the crank at the bottom of the new 28-foot-tall powder-coated stainless steel sculpture gets turned, the steel-plated tubes at the top rise and fall together, creating different imagery for visitors to Fire Station 37. The arms move slowly, fanning out as they reach for the sky. Photo by Pete Beeman
Courtesy of 
Photographed by Pete Beeman
4 / 11
<strong>"Sentinels" by Gloria Bornstein</strong><br /><br />
Inspired by Asian art, architecture, kokeshi dolls and even safety gear, the eight painted steel forms symbolize “guardians of the city.” Located near Seattle’s Chinatown-International District
"Sentinels" by Gloria Bornstein Inspired by Asian art, architecture, kokeshi dolls and even safety gear, the eight painted steel forms symbolize “guardians of the city.” Located near Seattle’s Chinatown-International District on the sidewalk adjacent to Fire Station 10, the artwork offers shifting perspectives as they diminish in size from nearly 9 feet to just over 3 feet along the incline. Photo by Gloria Bornstein
Courtesy of 
Photographed by Gloria Bornstein
5 / 11
<strong>"Fire Tower" by Wayne Chabre</strong><br /><br />
The bronze Asian garden lantern not only helps light the landscape surrounding Fire Station 28, but also serves as a suggestion of the station’s original tower. The 8-foot display incorporates hist
"Fire Tower" by Wayne Chabre The bronze Asian garden lantern not only helps light the landscape surrounding Fire Station 28, but also serves as a suggestion of the station’s original tower. The 8-foot display incorporates history of the city’s great fire, the waterfront, the fire department and the neighborhood on its four sides. Photo by Jeanne McMenemy
Courtesy of 
Photographed by Jeanne McMenemy
6 / 11
<strong>"Thornton Creek" by Stephen Glassman</strong><br /><br />
This steel sculpture literally serves to revive Thornton Creek, lost to urbanization. The reclaimed pipes were peeled open and now convey water from the rooftop of Fire Station 39 to an und
"Thornton Creek" by Stephen Glassman This steel sculpture literally serves to revive Thornton Creek, lost to urbanization. The reclaimed pipes were peeled open and now convey water from the rooftop of Fire Station 39 to an underground cistern, watering switch grass within the sculpture along the way, a literal throwback to the area’s past. The arms “float,” giving an organic quality to a rugged piece. Photo by Stephen Glassman
Courtesy of 
photo by stephen glassman
7 / 11
<strong>"Alex, Michael" by Mel Katz</strong><br /><br />
The three abstract painted aluminum sculptures—red, of course—resemble small trees outside Fire Station 38. The playful attempt to mimic the adjacent row of columnar trees also serves as a counterpo
"Alex, Michael" by Mel Katz The three abstract painted aluminum sculptures—red, of course—resemble small trees outside Fire Station 38. The playful attempt to mimic the adjacent row of columnar trees also serves as a counterpoint to the straight lines of the building. Photo by Eduardo Calderón
Courtesy of 
Eduardo CalderÛn © 2010
8 / 11
<strong>"Rescue" by Kay Kirkpatrick</strong><br /><br />
The abstracted ladder pushes away from the new Fire Station 35 as a reference to the rescues firefighters perform daily. Surrounding the playful “35” sits a neon crown of fire, both an obvious tie t
"Rescue" by Kay Kirkpatrick The abstracted ladder pushes away from the new Fire Station 35 as a reference to the rescues firefighters perform daily. Surrounding the playful “35” sits a neon crown of fire, both an obvious tie to a firefighter’s main adversary and also as a play on the building’s 1950s-style architecture. Photo by Peter de Lory
Courtesy of 
Peter de Lory
9 / 11
<strong>"Bamboo, Luminous" by Nancy Chew and Jacqueline Metz, MuseAtelier</strong><br /><br />
The resin “bamboo” glow, marking the Fifth Avenue entry to the Emergency Operations Center. Bamboo symbolizes grace, enlightenment, strength and the ability to
"Bamboo, Luminous" by Nancy Chew and Jacqueline Metz, MuseAtelier The resin “bamboo” glow, marking the Fifth Avenue entry to the Emergency Operations Center. Bamboo symbolizes grace, enlightenment, strength and the ability to adapt, qualities the artists saw in the immigrant residents of the neighboring International District. Bamboo also serves as a “symbol of strength and survival,” fitting for a new fire station in a cultural neighborhood. Photo by Spike Mafford
Courtesy of 
SPIKE MAFFORD © 2008
10 / 11
<strong>"Call and Response" by Stuart Nakamura</strong><br /><br />
Known in the Seattle Fire Department as “the rock,” the large boulder’s etched lines and the accompanying stainless steel arc invite water imagery for those entering Fire Station 10. Insi
"Call and Response" by Stuart Nakamura Known in the Seattle Fire Department as “the rock,” the large boulder’s etched lines and the accompanying stainless steel arc invite water imagery for those entering Fire Station 10. Inside the steel arc lie smoke and a firefighter and the rough-hewn, moss-covered granite boulder symbolizes the department’s tradition of serving the community. Photo by Stuart Nakamura
11 / 11
Fire Station 39 by Miller Hull Partnership.
Fire Station 39 by Miller Hull Partnership.

Fire Station 39 by Miller Hull Partnership (above)
www.millerhull.com
Massive glazed doors invite the community to peep into this outpost’s guts and rigs, while an external steel sculpture acts as water feature, filtering rain from the roof to a 7,000-gallon underground cistern that supports toilet and truck-washing needs. Kitchen and sleeping quarters are separated from working areas, preventing smudges from dirty work gear.

Fire Station 38 by Schreiber Starling & Lane Architects.
Fire Station 38 by Schreiber Starling & Lane Architects.
Fire Station 38 by Schreiber Starling & Lane Architects
sslarchitects.com
Color coding characterizes the exterior of Station 38, set on a reclaimed brownfield site: White demarcates the living spaces, red is for working, and slate indicates operations. The distinct curved roof channels rain runoff to a garden. The firefighters appreciate the revised operational flow that has them out the door from anywhere in their new home within a minute of the bell tolling.

Fire Station 30 by Schacht Aslani Architects
Fire Station 30 by Schacht Aslani Architects
Fire Station 30 by Schacht Aslani Architects
saarch.com
Sunlight changes the look of Number 30’s imaginative frittered-glass signage, but the red doors in front remain colorfast. Schacht Aslani Architects’ Eric Aman moved five bunk rooms upstairs, allowing the “beanery,” a kitchen-dining room with a range, stove, television, and dining table, to take in the street-level views downstairs. Geothermal heat and on-site stormwater treatment helped the building achieve LEED Gold certification.

 

Click here for our extended slideshow of Seattle's fire stations.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

two of a kind padua italy matching family homes facade green roof doors color
For Dwell's annual issue dedicated to interiors , we visited homes from Haiti to italy. Here, we introduce you to the photographers and writers who made it happen.
April 30, 2016
houseofweek
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
April 30, 2016
W House living room
Our best reader reactions this week.
April 29, 2016
Vineyard house illuminated at night
Rammed-earth construction fuses this Portuguese house to the environment.
April 29, 2016
vintage Scandinavian furniture Kathryn Tyler
In southwest England, interior designer Kathryn Tyler built her home around her ever-expanding furniture collection.
April 29, 2016
steel facade home Seattle
On the sandy shores of Fauntleroy Cove in Seattle, renowned firm Olson Kundig Architects crafts a subtle home with striking steel accents.
April 29, 2016
seperate piece renovated guesthouse eames storage unit cork floor tiles living room
An architect and an interior designer put the tools to the test for this impressive renovation.
April 29, 2016
Ceramics by WrenLab
Manhattan doesn’t get to have all the fun during NYCxDesign. Brooklyn is set for the return of BKLYN DESIGNS at the Brooklyn Expo Center in Greenpoint from May 6-8, 2016. Here are just a few exhibitors we are excited to see this year.
April 29, 2016
n0a6974 dxo
Architect Diego Revollo refreshes an apartment with a standout kitchen.
April 29, 2016
img 8652 1
The city of San Francisco has been eagerly awaiting the reopening of SFMOMA for years—and as the May 14th opening approaches closer everyday, the anticipation continues to build for art enthusiasts both near and far. This morning, we were given the opportunity to explore the newly expanded space before the crowds roll in. After a series of speeches, remarks, and tours, we left the grounds feeling thoroughly inspired and excited to share what we discovered.
April 28, 2016
gramercy 1 ar53319
A family doesn’t have to travel far for a private oasis away from the busy city.
April 28, 2016
Renovation of 1967 Hamburg apartment with Vipp kitchen.
In our April issue, we showcased an apartment in Hamburg, Germany, with a striking, matte-black kitchen from Vipp. The 77-year-old company became famous for its iconic pedal trash can before venturing into kitchens and other tools for the home. This isn't the first time that the Danish company's products have graced our pages, and here we've gathered additional examples from our archive that show how the brand's minimalist black kitchens are always a win in modern interiors.
April 28, 2016
Zafra residence living room.
A man and his wife make an emotional return to an apartment building he loved as a kid.
April 28, 2016
the garden inside concrete dining pavilion indoor outdoor custom cabinets thermador dishwasher refrigerator
A skylit conservatory doubles as a verdant dining parlor in Sonoma County, California.
April 28, 2016
Details of the Calico collection.
Calico Wallpaper founders Nick and Rachel Cope showed us through their home in our March Issue, now step inside their studio.
April 28, 2016
william krisel pow 1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most captivating design and architecture shots of the week.
April 27, 2016
Dwell on Design and designjunction at ArtBeam
It's all part of Dwell on Design + designjunction's three-day event, featuring a program of talks chock-full of leading figures in design, architecture, urbanism, and beyond—coming up May 13-15 at ArtBeam in New York.
April 27, 2016
seattles mariners floating house prefab facade exterior fiber cement panels
A prefabricated floating home drops anchor in the Pacific Northwest.
April 27, 2016
royan treatment living room stone fireplace vintage new furnishings
French designer Florence Deau effortlessly mixes the old with the new.
April 27, 2016
modern netherlands 13 noordeinde schoolhouse parquet herringbone floors stove
Take a lesson from this school-turned-home.
April 27, 2016
The sidewalks of Copacabana in Rio De Janero, Brazil, designed by Roberto Burle Marx
The Jewish Museum in New York City takes it outside with a celebration of the Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx.
April 26, 2016
Waterfront home in Belvedere, California
A 1960s home infested with powderpost beetles had to be sacrificed before this this Zen-inspired house could happen.
April 26, 2016
dialogue house
At the base of Echo Mountain in Phoenix, a geometric home by Wendell Burnette opens up to the surrounding desert landscape.
April 26, 2016
street smarts kitchen full view
A creative couple transforms an old Toronto storefront in Dundas West into a home and studio.
April 26, 2016
hald strand
This architect thinks of everything for his summer escape, pizza oven included.
April 26, 2016
gans turin residence living room
Thanks to a contemporary interior that she’s been updating for a decade, modern architect Abigail Turin has learned to love her traditional 1925 San Francisco home.
April 25, 2016
131
Johannesburg-based design studio Counterspace was founded in 2014 by young architecture graduates Sumayya Vally, Sarah de Villiers, and Amina Kaskar. Their projects are collaborative, research-led investigations into possible futures and ideas of otherness in Johannesburg.
April 25, 2016
through living room
A second-story addition and a new indoor-outdoor focus revive a nondescript house in L.A.
April 25, 2016
Modern living room with Flexform sofa and Jens Fager candelabra
An Antwerp home blurs the boundaries between art and design.
April 25, 2016
hillside haven  1
This backyard is its own modern retreat in the Berkeley Hills.
April 25, 2016