Designing a modern facility that enhances Keene, NH’s historic context posed the greatest challenge. NCA’s solution recalls the city’s architecture of the 1920s and 1930s. Masonry details, corbelling, inset masonry panels, windows and trim reflect the era so the building melds into the eclectic neighborhood. The 26,000 square-foot building is set on an L-shaped parcel that allowed for recessing the apparatus bay to the north so there is apron space for fire vehicles. A canopy distinguishes the entrance and a parking lot located on the corner of the property completes the streetscape.
Preparing the site to support the structure on Keene’s soil conditions presented another challenge. The subsurface was consolidated using a geopier system down to approximately 35 feet and required a complicated grade beam network and structural steel to ensure the structure could withstand a seismic event. The 12,000 square-foot apparatus bay with ten overhead doors houses vehicles and includes areas for turnout gear, gear cleaning, storage, workshop, decontamination and storage loft. Vehicles exit on both sides of the bays. Floor drains are directly under the vehicles and each column has access to power for vehicle diagnostics. The ceiling height allows for tilting vehicle cabs for servicing. The Plymovent system is available for each vehicle. The hose tower doubles as a training tower. The tower is equipped with bolts for repelling and aerial rescue practice.
The administrative wing features a secure lobby and reception, offices, dayroom, kitchen, training room, fitness room, lounge, sleeping quarters, locker rooms, individual toilet and shower rooms, and fire pole and stairs for quick access to the apparatus bay. The building has state-of-the-art electronic systems that are expandable for future video announcements and mapping printouts. There are secure fire rated rooms for emergency generator system components.
NORTHEAST COLLABORATIVE ARCHITECTS NAME SIX NEW PRINCIPALS