The Town of South Padre Island’s new Fire Station No. 1 is a blend of local precedents and hurricane-resistant construction. The distinctive form of the 19,400 square foot, three-story building was shaped by three important factors: the need for the emergency operations center (EOC) and station to remain functional during harsh weather conditions, the demand for a compact building footprint due to high property values, and the town’s desire to set a benchmark for attractive buildings on the island.
BRW provided a building that neither compromised on durability nor stood out as a bunker among the festive island buildings. A cast-in-place concrete structure with reinforced concrete block infill provides a robust skeleton and tough exterior shell. The building’s upper floors are clad with a rain-screen system to equalize air pressure and obstruct driving rain during a storm, while giving the station a high-end contemporary look.
Impact-rated glass and rust-resistant doors, window frames, and railings protect the station from the harsh salty conditions. A double door system at the truck entrances enables storm doors to descend, like eyelids, to protect the mostly-glass overhead doors.