Sustainable police station revitalises ageing neighbourhood
The Sam Browne is the well-known belt worn by law enforcement officers that supports a number of tools critical for their duties. This becomes a metaphor for the shaping of this small icon by the forces acting upon it – the urban grid, separation and celebration of public and secure entries, protection from the sun. This 30,100-sq-ft civic building houses a patrol division, public health offices, a reserves unit, the City’s entire traffic enforcement team and community multipurpose facilities.
The building is conceived as a highly efficient box, with layered elements creating visual scale and character appropriate for a civic facility in a residential community. Expanses of glass create a glowing lantern in the nighttime environment as a beacon of safety and allow for natural daylight to permeate the space during the day.
Officers circulate through a double-height, secure 'main street' bathed in northern light, with breakaway meeting and socialising areas. Centralised role call, conference, and support spaces are shared for efficiency; secure motorcycle parking is below. Windows are carefully screened and shaded and a material palette of brick, steel-troweled plaster, and corrugated metal reflects both the industrial and residential surrounding context.
The new station replaced dated buildings on the same site and has helped revitalise an aged neighbourhood on the city’s southeast side. The small parcel is triangulated by a diagonal street fronting the property; single family homes border to the south and west; across the diagonal to the northeast is a middle school. The building is sited at the high point of the property and near the front to emphasise its civic scale and presence. Orientation minimises solar heat placement also allowed for construction to take place while maintaining operations within existing quarters. The building has been certified LEED Gold — the first for the City of Fort Worth.