Renovated Fire Station 5 designed by Bassetti Architects has been designated a Seattle Landmark.
A mid-century modern beacon along Seattle’s waterfront, Fire Station 5 is a distinctive and recognizable fixture along this busy waterway. Originally built in 1963, the fire station was in need of significant up-grades to meet many current seismic, safety, and accessibility codes as well as provide improvements to crew, administrative, and support facilities. As a base for both land-side and waterside response and rescue— Station 5 houses a fire engine and three fireboats: the 108-foot Leschi; the 50-foot fast-attack boat, Marine One; and a 25-foot rescue boat—the additional requirements for boats and gear for marine operations are unique aspects of this station.
The main impetus of the renovation was a seismic upgrade and increased disaster preparedness. However, the design took into consideration the unique relationship between the station and the public.
As one of the most frequently visited fire stations in Seattle, firefighters routinely engage with the community. Visitors drop in to tour the facility and learn about the on-site equipment. Children delight in the fire trucks and fireboats. The inviting views from Alaskan Way into the apparatus bay, foyer, office, and to the waterfront beyond create a welcoming and positive connection to the community.
Bassetti provided comprehensive renovation to the building and pier structure, including seismic reinforcement, building systems renovation, and sustainability improvements. Designated a Seattle Landmark, alterations to the fire station exterior were only minimal alteration to the exterior.
An infill addition increased space without significant impact to the exterior aesthetic. A muted color scheme more closely matched to the original exterior palette allows the red fire trucks and bright equipment to take center stage and stand out against the building. With Fire Station 5 occupying a prominent and bustling site along the waterfront, balance is needed in order to give the 24-hour crew space for privacy.
The interior spaces have been reorganized to achieve more efficient operations balanced with areas for respite. Open and inviting, operational spaces including office and maintenance areas occupy the first floor for public view and to create a transparent connection to the community. Crew spaces, including bunk rooms and the beanery are strategically located on the second floor, away from public view.
The offshore side of the station is the home port to the Leschi, Seattle Fire Department’s largest fireboat.
A rigorous design review process, which included input from “maintenance shops” and users at regular milestones during each phase, ensured that all critical operations considerations were integrated into the solution. The project includes photovoltaic panels on the roof for electrical generation as well as solar heating for water, and is on track to reach LEED Gold certification.
Client name: City of Seattle, Fire Department
Project address / location: 1009, 925 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104
Square footage: 6,000 sf renovation
Site: 36,540 sf (existing waterfront site)
Bassetti Architects (Architect)
Western Ventures Construction (Contractor)
Shannon & Wilson, Inc. (Geotechnical Engineer)
BRC Acoustics & Audiovisual Design (Acoustics Consultant)
MKA – Magnusson Klemencic Associates (Structural Engineer)
Travis, Fitzmaurice & Assoc. Inc. (Electrical Engineer)
The Robinson Company (Cost Consultant)
Sider & Byers Associates Inc. (Mechanical Engineer)
Axis Environmental LLC (Environmental Permitting)
Facility Dynamics Engineering (Controls Systems Design)
Floyd Snider Environmental Consultation (Marine Construction)
Adams Consulting (Hardware Consultant)
Products/Materials Used (selected)
Storefront windows: EFCO
Resilient tile flooring: Johnsonite
Louver blinds: SWF Cointract
Wood doors: Marshfield (composite lumber core doors)
Hollow metal doors: Curries Steel Doors