Project Name: Windermere Fire Station No. 31
Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Product: Opus by Hebron Brick
Architects: S2 Architecture (Prime Consultant) and gh3* (Design Architect)
Masonry Contractor: PCL Construction
Photographer: Raymond Chow from gh3*
Turning a firehouse into Edmonton’s first net-zero building was no simple task. In re-imagining Windermere Fire Station No. 31, design challenges and competing priorities were everywhere.
First, the building needed to fulfill its purpose as a working firehouse. Plus, it had to be LEED-certified for sustainability. And, just as important, it had to feature landmark-worthy design.
In meeting these challenges, the completed Windermere Fire Station No. 31 became a monument to form and function in almost every aspect. Take its ingenious two-door system, for example. It opens and closes in seconds, allowing the fire trucks to pass through without allowing the building’s heating and cooling to escape.
Then, there’s the building’s stunning exterior. It’s constructed in all brick, a classic firehouse material. But instead of traditional red, black is the colour of choice. Opus, a natural clay brick with a metallic sheen from Hebron Brick, gives the building a fresh, modern character without losing sight of its history.
But perhaps the most impressive element of all is the sloping rooftop. Set against the expansive Edmonton sky, it’s also home to a powerful solar array. The structure is ideal for soaking up the city’s 2,300 annual hours of sunshine. And its sweeping silhouette makes it a must-see architectural landmark.