The Bayside Fire Station, located in San Diego’s Little Italy, solves a longstanding problem for the local Fire Department – meeting response times for the waterfront and mainly commercial and civic areas of downtown, west of the busy railroad and streetcar lines. Fire fighters and emergency personnel will now have direct access to the west edge of the city and the airport without delays at the train tracks. The 10,000 SF corner site met the location but was small considering an 18,000 SF building program and the need to provide on-site parking. CCDC, San Diego’s redevelopment agency, sought a local architect with extensive urban design and public building design experience.
Although contemporary in design, it takes its cues from the nearby County Administration Building using the same Golden Section proportioning system and similar tile and brass accent detailing. Most fire stations, new or old, are rather introverted in nature. By contrast, Bayside embraces the community with a street level plaza, transparent apparatus bays and a third floor deck making the fire fighters more a part of the neighborhood.
The programming, urban design and exploration for an efficient small site design solution resulted in an unusual three-story house scheme, with three drive-through apparatus bays on the ground floor over an underground parking garage. Firefighter dorms and common areas are on the second and third floors, connected by both a slide and poles to the apparatus bay.
The firm worked with artist team Ingram Ober and Marisol Rendon to develop a sculpture on the sidewalk corner providing seating while conveying stories of the firefighters.
"I would like to say what a pleasure it has been working with the RW Quigley team on the Bayside Fire Station #2 project. Through the duration of this challenging project, the focus has been maintained on what is better for the project and what is going to work best for the end users. With the level of difficulty at this constrained site, and the seemingly rapid fire challenges, there was plenty of opportunity for drama. However, with the collaborative nature of Bob and the team, and with the RWQ team having more interest in problem solving through collaboration than trying to find fault, we were able to come together and construct a magnificent fire station that will support San Diego residents and visitors for many years to come.
Thank you for the partnership that it took to construct this wonderful project and we look forward to cultivating the working relationships that were developed here through future projects."
Shawn Fisher CCM, LEED AP BD+C, General Superintendent