A door can be the starting point for design

When architect Philippe Samyn took the brief for the fire station at Charleroi, one sentence jumped out at him. The firemen wanted to be able to drive straight out of the fire station as fast as possible – and didn’t want to have to use reverse gear to get the fire truck back into position.

“The idea of making a circle with all those lines flowing next ot each other came instantaneously,” he says, and then adds, “Everything can be the starting point for a building. Even a door.”

One of the key concerns was to gain seconds – crucial in the race to save lives. The firestation's circular form means that all 48 vehicles, each with their own overhead door, can be ready for action at any moment. Not only that, returning vehicles can enter and drive back into position without causing an obstruction.

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