Zaha Hadid, Vitra Fire Station, Weil am Rhein, Germany, 1993
Zaha Hadid, Vitra Fire Station, Weil am Rhein, Germany, 1993 (view from google)
The Fire Station was built in order to protect all Vitra buildings after a fire demonstrated the need for one, because the campus was out of the entire protected river by firefighters local. Once expanded the framework for action by firefighters in the area, the building was off duty and was recycled to serve as exhibition space for the permanent collection of Vitra chairs. This project is the first international design work of Zaha Hadid and demonstrates her technique of mixing polygons with triangular structures, getting a sense of movement characteristic of her designs. It was conceived as a longitudinal garden were the point of departure for the development is the space-defining and screening functions, a linear layered series of walls. The programme of the firestation inhabits the spaces between these walls, which puncture, tilt and break according to functional requirements. The building is sealed from a frontal lecture, revealing the interiors only from a perpendicular viewpoint. The whole building is movement, frozen, expressing the tension of being alert. The building is constructed with reinforced concrete in situ and special attention was given to the sharpness of all edges, roof edgings or claddings were avoided as they distract from the simplicity and abstract quality of the architectural concept. The lines of light direct necessarily precise and fast movement through the building.
Alexandra Niedermayr, Alexandre Maurel, Martin Charachon, Sonja Schneider (March 2017)