“Aside from the apparatus room, firefighters spend more time in the kitchen than any other room in the firehouse. Three square meals, reading, working and conversation keep the kitchen buzzing throughout the day, pointing to the need for thoughtful layouts”, said John J. Holz in an article he wrote for Fire Chief, describing the recently-built LEED-Platinum fire station in Madison, Wisconsin.
In the article, we learn about the collaborative approach taken by the architect, interior designer, and fire department members to create a kitchen layout which placed a high priority on innovative design, high-performance equipment, and sensible furnishings for the spacious kitchen, while fostering a welcoming sense of place and the comforts of home.
Starting with the building orientation on the property and the room arrangement, the kitchen was sited for ample natural light and large windows that afforded beautiful views of the nearby prairie which cut down on the need for artificial light, conserving power. Designing harmonious indoor and outdoor dining areas created a living environment that promotes camaraderie as well as healthy lifestyles.
Other key design attributes include: placement of the kitchen in the middle of the station’s circulation loop to hasten “turnout time”; easy access to a kitchen garden where the fire fighters can grow their own vegetables while decompressing from stressful situations in the fresh air; and the use of durable, easy-to-clean surfaces/materials that can hold up to the 24-7 wear-and-tear environment.
Read more about the high-performance fire station kitchen at Fire Chief
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