Liveable and joyful

Despite its importance to the local community, nobody expected the new Charleroix fire station to be beautiful. However, architect Phillipe Samyn's insistance that all buildings should be both liveable and joyful resulted in a design that is not only functional, but also interesting aesthetically.

The building's circular form slots seamlessly into its hillsite site, keeping watch over the Belgian town of Charleroi. Its outgoing, vigilant character is given further expression through the 48 glass doors that clad the facade at groundle vel. The doors can be raised in an instant to release fire trucks and ambulances into service.But the functionality of the doors is only half the story.

"There are many suppliers who can give you good doors", says Samyn. "The difference is in the refinement of the door - technically and aesthetically". The sleek lines of the ASSA ABLOY overhead doors lend the building lightness during daylight hours and transparency at night. And the result is a liveable interior environment in harmony with the environment beyond its walls - or, more accurately, its doors.

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