Being a firefighter or rescue worker requires extraordinary courage and strength. It also requires intensive training to ensure responders are prepared for anything during an emergency.
Training is definitely paramount to success for FDNY Rescue Company No. 2, an elite force that has served citizens of New York City for nearly a century. That’s exactly why New York City partnered with Studio Gang Architects to design an advanced facility that will function as both an essential training tool for Rescue Company No. 2 and as a symbol of strength and safety for the community of Brownsville, Brooklyn.
According to Weston Walker, design principal at Studio Gang, the 20,000-square-foot facility, now under construction, will be constructed with a variety of precast concrete products. The facility’s shell will consist of 58 precast sandwich panels. To frame the interior, Studio Gang specified 8-inch precast hollowcore planks and 22-inch precast double tees. The result is a durable structure that will serve the community for the next 100 years.
Studio Gang’s design was inspired by the tools and procedures Rescue Company No. 2 uses when making rescues.
“A lot of their tools are used to create openings and voids in buildings,” Walker said. “This is a technique used to release heat or smoke from a room where someone is trapped. So we picked up on this idea of openings at different scales to create the visual identity of the building.”
That visual identity extends inside, where a large interior void – extending from the ground to the roof – will enable Rescue Company No. 2 to practice rescues in environments and conditions similar to what is encountered in the city.
Walker added that Studio Gang sought a resilient building material that could withstand heavy use because Rescue Company No. 2 will be staging and simulating emergency situations in, on and around the building. The durability of the precast concrete panels achieves this purpose without sacrificing aesthetic quality.
Additionally, the building’s precast concrete panels are designed to evoke a sense of long-term security for residents.
“Fire Rescue Company No. 2 is a civic building, and the message that it conveys is important,” Walker said. “Materials play an important role in communicating a building’s purpose. In this case, the robust nature of concrete signifies permanence and strength.”
Members of Rescue Company No. 2 will begin training in the new facility when it is completed in 2018.