SAMYN and PARTNERS : Fire Station

With its parabolic roof and icy façade, the work of the Dutch company SAMYN and PARTNERS made for the town of Houten (Netherlands) detonates in the universe of the traditional barracks. Designed to house six fire engines, the station offers a contemporary reinterpretation of the hangar usually used for this purpose.

Surrounded by green spaces, the Houten site is particularly prone to fires and requires the daily mobilization of four professionals and sixty volunteers. In order to enable them to carry out their work in the best possible conditions, the municipality wanted to erect a new barracks, designed by the architects of SAMYN and PARTNERS.


This construction of 1 761 square meters is elaborated as a shelter, a safe place. The choice of a parabolic shape reinforces this idea of ​​brooding and appears as an elegant variant to parallelepipedal hangars. Its partially glazed skin also contributes to this typological shift since the headquarters are usually barded with more industrial materials. The positioning of the transparent facade on the south facade is also motivated by the presence of photovoltaic panels that supply the site with electricity. In the lower part, the southern wall is adorned with six large sectional doors inscribed in the slope of the roof, which take up the structural frame of the metal trusses and allow a quick exit of the vehicles in case of emergency.

The interior space is divided in two by a high wall made up of 2 200 panels made by children of the city who were asked to represent the work of the firemen. The set creates a fresco whose gradations, ranging from blue to orange, echo the different colors present in a flame. The bipartite division is also visible in East-West gables thanks to a differentiation of coating that play between opacity and transparency, with a glass section in triple height housing the vehicles it staged; And another, camouflaged, which hosts offices, locker rooms, dining room, storage place and technical rooms.

A beautiful way for the municipality to stage and pay tribute to this heroic activity by allowing fire professionals to evolve in a pleasant and luminous place, a thousand places of traditional warehouses.

To learn more, visit The site of SAMYN and PARTNERS

Photographs: Christian Richters

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