From the 1960 plane crash in Park Slope to the 2001 terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, Rescue Company 2’s firemen have always responded to New York City’s most dangerous emergencies.
For the last 31 years, they have worked and trained at their station in Brownsville, Brooklyn. But by summer 2018, they will get a massive, new, state-of-the-art home.
Designed by architecture and urban design firm Studio Gang, the 20,000-square-foot station will feature an obstacle course and a pit to practice underground rescues. On the edge of the roof terrace will be hooks to practice scaling the building — which firemen often need to do in real-life situations.
“It strikes a balance between being inviting to the community yet robust and secure enough to withstand training so they can do their job,” the station’s project designer, Weston Walker, tells Business Insider.
On July 28, the studio and FDNY’s Rescue Company 2 celebrated the $32 million station’s ground breaking.
To design the new station, the architects asked the firefighters what they needed from the new station.
Rescue Company 2 is one of five elite rescue companies in New York City, which means that in addition to fires, they also respond if there’s an emergency situation like a collapsed buildings or people trapped underwater or under a car.
Walker says the architects also studied how the firefighters’ work has changed since the original station was built in 1893.
The new building will be located 10 minutes away from the old one, pictured below:
According to the Company’s feedback, the new station will have a large, open central area, so that firefighters have room to drag their rigs, Walker says. Several training rooms will be located off of that main atrium. The station will also be the first in NYC to include large garage doors in the front and back, so that trucks can drive in and out quickly.
Studio Gang also wanted to pay homage to the firemen’s work in the design, Walker says. For example, the firemen often need to move through holes in buildings during emergency situations, so the designers created symbolic voids in the concrete facade.
“They bust through voids, and they create voids to pull people out,” he says. “The architecture is based off the concept of voids in different sizes and shapes.”
Those voids will also promote natural light and ventilation, which will save energy, Walker says.
In accordance with the national goal of reducing 80% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, the design also includes solar panels on the roof, which is covered in greenery.
The building looks undeniably different than every other hook-and-ladder in the city — and could set a precedent for future fire station design.