Structure Type: built works - public buildings - fire stations

Designers: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol (GGN), Landscape Architects (firm); Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA) Structural + Civil Engineers (firm); Sparling Electrical Engineering (firm); Weinstein Architects + Urban Designers LLC (firm); Kathryn Gustafson (landscape architect); Jennifer Guthrie (landscape architect); Ronald Klemencic (structural engineer); Jon Magnusson (structural engineer); Shannon Nichol (landscape architect); Thomas E. Sparling Sr. (electrical engineer); Edward Weinstein (architect)

Dates: constructed 2006-2008

total floor area: 69,000 sq. ft.

400 South Washington Street
Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA 98104

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Located on the block bounded by Yesler Way on the north, South Washington on the south, Fourth Avenue South on the west, and Fifth Avenue South on the east;


At the same time that public libraries were getting facelifts and enlargements around Seattle, so, too, were fire stations. This central facility, housing Seattle Fire Department (SFD) Station #10 also housed the department's Fire Alarm Center and the City of Seattle's Emergency Operations Center. (EOC) Begun in 2006, it was completed two years later and replaced the SFD's previous Station #10at 301 2nd Avenue South, completed in 1929.

Building History

Voters approved funds for Fire Station #10 in 2003 as part of a $167 million levy; this emergency management facility, set to cost $42.7 million in 07/2005, was designed to replace previous accommodations in the old Pioneer Square Fire Station, now the administrative headquarters of the Seattle Fire Department (SFD), built in 1928 at 301 South Main Street. Cost over-runs in 2005 of $6 million occurred in the planning of Fire Station #10 because of inflation and the inclusion of green building elements, such as a green roof and water recycling system. City officials broke ground for the building in 01/2006, with employees moving in between 01-04/2008. In 2009, an article in the Daily Journal of Commerce (DJC), however, indicated that the station cost $36 million; the DJC in collaboration with the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Seattle Chapter, named this firehouse its "AIA Project of the Month" in 04/2009. Completed in 04/2008, this new facility provided larger accommodations for several vital, 24-hour services; Clair Enlow writing in the DJC summarized the building's multiple purposes: "The building itself is a combination of clearly readable volumes, each with its own programmatic job. Fire Station 10 is really three facilities in one. Along with the fire station and fire alarm centers there is also an emergency operations center that would become the seat of city government in an emergency. The six-bay fire station operates round the clock. There are decontamination facilities, living quarters for the crew and disaster supply storage, and a resource management center for the entire department. It also serves as the city's primary hazardous materials response unit. The fire alarm center, which is staffed continuously, includes a 911 dispatch area, sleep rooms and staff support rooms, a training room, server and radio communication equipment rooms, administrative offices and support spaces, and a police 911 back-up facility." (See Clair Enlow, "AIA Project of the Month: Fire Station 10: A stately civic presence and, sometimes, a beehive," Daily Journal of Commerce, 04/08/2009,Accessed 03/122012.)

The addition of the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the Fire Alarm Center (FAC) in this building, made it one of the most important emergency command centers for the City of Seattle. The architect-of-record was Weinstein A|U, with Ed Weinstein, Managing Principal, Milton Wan, Project Manager and Jon A. Mihkels, Project Architect. Other building team members included: General contractor and construction manager: Hoffman Construction; Structural engineer: Magnusson Klemencic Associates (MKA); Electrical & technology engineer: Sparling; Mechanical engineer: Notkin Engineers; Landscape architect: Gustafson Guthrie Nichol; Specifications: Eskilsson Architecture; Audio visual consultants: ACSI-Alta Consulting; Acoustical Consultant: SSA Acoustics; Security consultant: Kroll International; Fire station consulting architect: TCA Architecture-Planning; Sustainability consultant: Paladino and Co. According to the City of Seattle's web site, Ross Drulis Cusenbury(RDC) of Sonoma, CA, also served as an Associate Architect on Fire Station #10. (See City of Seattle, Fire Department, "Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy Program: Station 10 - New,"Accessed 08/30/2012. This web site set indicated that the total square footage at 60,333.) RDC specialized in fire and emergency command centers for governmental agencies c. 2016.

Building Notes

The architect composed the station so that functionally-different portions were expressed in separate volumes on the exterior. Seeing this, however, would require knowing what those three main functions were. Only one was evidently featured. The main visual element was the transparent engine bays, especially prominent when seen lit at night. The six bays become a bold focus of interest emphasizing the bright red fire trucks, in a way "camouflaging" the facility's other, high-security uses. Building volumes housing the two secure functions--fire dispatch and emergency operations--were clad in subdued earth tones, intended to blend with the adjacent Pioneer Square and International District neighborhoods. Windows for these sensitive areas do not disclose from the exterior what occurs within. Walls needed to be resilient, able to withstand earthquakes and other cataclysmic events. According to the City of Seattle's web site on the new building: "The building is constructed to essential facility standards--a 1.5 seismic safety factor--capable of withstanding an earthquake load 50 percent higher than most buildings. These design specifications affect most components of the building, from the use of concrete and steel to the window system and equipment specifications. To ensure the building remains operable after an earthquake, all critical building systems are designed to accommodate movement." (See City of Seattle, Fire Department, "Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy Program: Station 10 - New,"Accessed 08/30/2012.) These robust structural requirements also militated for minimal use of glass outside of the engine bays.

PCAD id: 5318