CSARCH Selects Innovative Fire Station Lighting for Their Design Project
When it comes to commercial projects, it’s common to see Hubbardton Forge lighting in hotels, restaurants, resorts, and even a few wineries. However, lighting for fire stations hasn’t made an appearance on the list – until now. And it’s a big debut
.The planning for this project started more than 20 years ago. The Defreestville Fire Department’s station was already about 60 years old by that point and needless to say, technology and needs have changed significantly since pre-WWII. The architecture, engineering, and construction management firm, CSArch, was onboard almost from the beginning of the redesign. We spoke with Ed Anker, project manager and a principal with the firm to get more details.
HF: How did CSArch get involved?
EA: The fire department has been a client for about 16 years. About 13 years ago, they began planning exercises focused on acquiring property with a search selection that ran for almost 10 years. The Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute essentially donated the property nearly four years ago. They had the property zoned for municipal services and were friendly with the station, so it was a good match.
HF: Obviously, the members’ room really got our attention. Tell us about it?
EA: A members’ room is a typical part of a fire station. It’s a private gathering area for the members of the department to meet and relax. The members’ room in the previous station was basically a dungeon – it was housed under the section where the apparatus was stored. When the planning was being done for this space, they wanted a space they could be proud of and enjoy. There’s an adjacent commercial kitchen to allow the space to hold events, but this space is meant to be more private. Our team and the client made the conscious decision to make this space feel special. We worked closely with our interior design consultant, Lisa Varano at Design Network, to select finishes and light fixtures for the fire station. I personally had experience with Hubbardton Forge in the past, and knowing the level of quality, it was a no-brainer for a sole source for the lighting for the fire station project. We were able to ensure there wouldn’t be any substitutions by developing an allowance and a list of what we wanted to match with that allowance.
HF: What’s your favorite aspect of the design?
EA: I’m really pleased with how the lighting relates to the design and function of the space and the fire station itself, the way the custom woodwork enhances the bar, and the design of the flooring. It’s uncommon to have a project schedule or budget that allows us to incorporate the types of fixtures and finishes that we were able to integrate into this design.
HF: What kind of feedback did you get from the fire department crew?
EA: Most of these guys were involved in the process from the beginning and are still around at the finish – it’s been 20 years in the making. For the core group of the fire department building committee, to see this come to fruition was very emotional.
Due to the new station and the amenities, including the new members’ room, the department has been able to attract and retain a host of new firefighters. It has been beneficial to the department, beneficial to the new volunteers, and ultimately a huge benefit to the community they so selflessly serve. It’s a home run!