Locally sourced materials add that 'je ne sais quoi' to contemporary police station
In January 2008, construction began on the 4,200 sq m Bayside Police Station in Sandringham, Australia. The result is a fluid, contemporary twist on a conventional civic building, as Richard Francis-Jones, Design Director at Lead Architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt) explains: "We have sought to escape the existing architectural paradigms of the contemporary police station, characterised as they are by opacity, security and fenced compounds. Instead, an emphasis is placed upon the police station as a truly public community building: inviting, accessible and part of the civic fabric of the neighbourhood."
Under tight budget constraints, the recognisable structure incorporates a shallow overhanging lip to its concrete frame, offering a level of shade but also a memorable entranceway to the public. All work spaces, meeting rooms, sally port, holding rooms, and the gym are organised around a central, top-lit atrium, creating a communal void in the heart of the facility where informal meetings and special events can be held.
This atrium is lined with locally-sourced Victorian Ash wood, creating a direct relationship with the local community. This beautiful material can also be found in curved form at the front facade, characterising the street address, coupled with a number of terracotta tiles. The perimeter of the main station volume is a layered system of glass operable panels, a captured linear landscaped garden, and a wall of continuous metal louvre grilles which provide environmental mediation and security.