Fire Station No. 8, located along Apache Creek, at 619 South Hamilton Street, serves as a replacement station which provides an updated facility that can properly house modern fire fighting equipment and allow for future expansion. The station’s form responds to the Fire Department’s request for a traditional station to fit within the existing neighborhood context and Apache Park. The building was sited to create a landscaped yard, including the planting of large shade trees, that visually becomes an extension of Apache Creek Park to the south.
Special attention was given to the orientation towards Hamilton Street. The facility is sited close to the street to match the existing single-family housing in the area and to give a presence to the facility. This strong presence along the street and within the neighborhood helps the facility to become a public landmark and an anchor within Apache Creek Park. The front façade includes four simple segmented arches. Three lower arches serve as the apparatus doors. A larger segmented arch located on the main core serves as the main/public entry to the station, with a balcony for the day room on the second floor. The form’s suggestion of Spanish mission architecture and the use of strong colors can be found throughout the surrounding community.
The station’s design consists of two major pieces: a two-story core, and the apparatus room. The two-story core houses the living quarters and office areas while the three bay apparatus room will house up to six vehicles. At the rear of the facility, a stair tower will anchor a metal roof structure that shades a generous patio oriented to Apache Park. The primary materials consist of stucco and steel with a metal roof detailed in a simple fashion. The use of large scale oversized elements helps to emphasize a symbolic strength inherent to the fire department. At the main entry, the use of a large axial walkway approach, ceramic tile pilasters, custom light fixtures, and the glass and steel two-story entry maintains the facility’s strength while creating an approachable public building.