Fire Station 76 embraces fire as a feature of protection and beauty. This new station for Multnomah County Rural Fire Protection District 10 serves a community of small family farms and nurseries. Taking inspiration from local agricultural buildings, our design layered the subtle rural character of the area over the distinct functions of living and working. The structure comprises two masses: a vaulted apparatus bay clad with metal, and an office and living quarters wrapped in charred wood. Shou Sugi Ban, a traditional Japanese technique, was used to char the salvaged wood surface, providing protection from rot, water, and insects.
Warm western red cedar-clad porches carve into the living quarters, providing a rich comparison for the adjacent charred wood. The cedar continues to the daylight-filled building interior, blending inside with outside in these restorative spaces that provide calm and comfort as a respite from firefighters’ active duty. We oriented the firefighters’ living quarters to face views of Mount Hood and to soften sun and wind exposure, while still maintaining emergency response requirements with direct access to the apparatus bay. Glulam tudor arches spanned by tongue-and-groove cedar decking vault over the engines in the bay, which faces the road and presents this most recognizable feature of a fire station to the public.