HMFH Architects

East Cambridge Fire Station

The East Cambridge Fire Station is located at the corner of Second and Cambridge Street in Cambridge, MA, across the street from the old Middlesex County Courthouse and abutting a small-scale residential neighborhood. The program called for the housing of two active fire companies and one reserve company with an apparatus room, residential quarters, and related training spaces. Each company’s dormitory facilities are located directly over its respective vehicle, allowing quick access via conveniently located slide poles.

The interior materials were chosen with a view toward economy, maintainability, and durability. To overcome the institutional appearance often found in fire stations, bright colors and graphics have been applied to wall surfaces with epoxy paint and vinyl wall fabric.

In order to break up the scale of the building to better relate to the surrounding residential neighborhood, the apparatus bays have been stepped back. In addition, roof monitors, the hose tower, and stair tower provide small-scale elements that help further reduce facility’s overall scale. The major exterior material is a brick chosen to complement the brick of the old courthouse.

This bare-basics urban structure expresses the presence of three separate fire companies and their shared facilities by a strongly articulated four-part massing.

Architectural Record1980
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