WLC Project Feature: Sacramento Fire Station 15

Location, Location, Location: Sacramento Fire Station 15

WLC proudly announces the opening of Sacramento Fire Station 15 in Sacramento, California

The design of a fire station is more than just aesthetics. It is a long list of considerations intertwined together - which includes functionality, operational efficiency, use of space, the feel of the space, and the materials selected - to name a few.  Bill Louie, Principal Architect with WLC Architects, along with the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Fire Department, sat at the table together to discuss many of these considerations as the project was developed.

A fire station is all about efficiency. Efficiency is thought of in different ways:  flow, circulation, use of space, and the ability for a space to be used for multiple functions.
— Bill Louie

Principal Architect Bill Louie shared the thought process behind of this project:

"The new site was previously an infrequently used city park site.  It wasn't a very popular and well-used site by the general public.  The location itself did not have many of the essential elements a typical fire station site requires, such as available utility infrastructure and available frontage for driveway approaches and exits.  From a site planning perspective, site access and site utilities gave us much of our early discussions as we looked for resolutions."  

"The original Fire Station 15 was essentially a block and a half away from the new site.  It was a converted house - a single story building, very typical of some of older fire facilities.  It simply could not meet the current operational requirements and needs.  The Sacramento Fire Department had added to the facility here and there over the years, just to make do - but ultimately, it reached a tipping point where it wasn't worth adding more dollars to that facility." 

"Since the new fire station is only a block and a half to two from this original location, it is still providing the same service and coverage to the community - but now utilizing a new, department-ready response site.  The resulting planning and design now enables the fire department to exit the site in both directions very easily and thus be able to reach their call and response areas much quicker."

“The original fire station was roughly 60% of the size of this new facility, with one and a half garage bays.  Now with three full bays, the new Fire Station 15 is equipped to carry more fire engines - and thus, more crew.  Building flexibility into the site for added crew and engines was another consideration for future additions to the station.”

Our goal was to maximize the space while providing flexibility within the same space.
— Bill Louie

"The relationship between the day room, dining room, and kitchen core stand out in the design of this station. Since these three areas are predominantly where the firefighter crew members are during the day outside of their service calls, they were designed in such a way that really maximized their daily living creature comforts - but also allowed them to maximize their ability to respond quickly to a fire. The position of the day room, dining room, and kitchen core within the station is only a few steps to the fire engine itself.  So our design was  able to shorten up the response time, which is always key in emergency calls."

“This new project design also incorporated a common shared locker room with four individual bathrooms. This flexibility provides both gender and privacy separation for current and future crew needs. This is quite a different approach from what the crew was accustomed to in the original station.”

"A fire station is all about efficiency. Efficiency is thought of in different ways:  flow, circulation, use of space, and the ability for a space to be used for multiple functions.  In addition, we also wanted to maximize each space to its full potential since valuable tax dollars were on the line.  Looking for ways to create efficiency was our priority as we considered each space within the station.  For example, workshop areas used for maintenance and repairs can also double as added storage for mobile carts, air tanks, etc.  Our goal was to maximize the space while providing flexibility within the same space."

"The project team was phenomenal to collaborate with. Amy Smith, Senior Architect for the City of Sacramento, and her talented team of  specialists provided valuable input and support to the design.  Deputy Chief Chris Costamagna and Assistant Chief Ron Potter of the Sacramento Fire Department were integral in the success of this project, providing valuable input and guidance in planning for the department's operational needs.  Simile Construction provided solid work as the contractor for this project by ensuring the project was on schedule.  All in all, it was an outstanding project for the City of Sacramento."

"Special thanks to the City of Sacramento and the Sacramento Fire Department for this opportunity to serve our community and our first responders.  It was an honor and privilege for us to work together on this project!"

Since completing our first public safety facility over 30 years ago, WLC Architects’ vast experience sets them apart as a leading expert in the design of fire, police, and essential service facilities. To date, WLC has designed over 100 public safety facilities - each specifically designed to meet the unique needs of the first responders and communities they serve.

As our clients’ needs have expanded, WLC’s design capabilities have broadened to include training facilities, drill towers, dispatch centers, emergency operations centers, and vehicle maintenance centers.

WLC is proud to be considered one of the leading experts in the design of essential services facilities in California and nationwide.