Fire station four chess – minimalissimo : MINIMALIST

Fire station four chess – minimalissimo


Words by Gian Marco Tosti

Outdoor station of the Vierschach fire station

This rose tinted fire Department is designed by the Italian studio Pedevilla Architects for the small town of Vierschach in South Tyrol, Italy. It is located in the western upper Pusteria Valley at 1130 m above sea level near the Austrian border and is an obviously minimal and simply shaped building along the main road.

Pedevilla Architects was founded in 2005 by the brothers Alexander and Armin Pedevilla, who were born in Sterzing in 1971 and 1973, respectively. Located in Bruneck, the studio works on architectural projects in the private and public sector, mainly in South Tyrol, as well as on creative interiors and innovative design concepts. The aim of any layout is always to implement people’s wishes and needs and to combine them with a clear architectural style vocabulary.

External staircase of the Vierschach fire station
Exterior fire engine of the fire department Vierschach

In this iconic project, design prioritizes simplicity and reducing detail, and in fact the building is an experiment in itself. The outer shell was made using a product called LiaPor and is made of lightweight concrete. It questions constructive and static parameters, but also offers the necessary insulation.

The elongated two-story building adapts to the floor plan of the adjacent main street and creates sufficient free areas: an upper reception with a view of the hall and a lower parking and exercise area, which is connected to the fire engine garage. The functions are well organized, and to connect the second level and the exterior, the architects designed spiral staircases that lead from the porch to the area above.

Four chess fire station outside on the street
Close up exterior shot of the Vierachach fire station

On the side facing the village is the vehicle hall with functional and utility rooms. The hall and the kitchen are on the main street. The separation of the layers facilitates the spatial differentiation during the celebrations or the external use of the hall.

The red color becomes a real statement and underlines the originality of the new building. All surfaces of the building were realized with pigmented concrete in order to mark the monolithic character of the building. The thickness of the wall remains recognizable and underlines the scope of the construction. The doors and windows were designed with powder-coated metal, while stainless steel appliances were selected for the sanitary facilities. According to the architects: “The project offers a clear, compact structure. The red color is a sign of the function of the building and underlines its independence. “

Four chess fire station outside with trees
Four chess fire station outside with snow

Swiss pine and native loden were used in the fire station to create a warm contrast to the concrete exterior and to create an inviting atmosphere in the room, which also serves as a hall for the residents of Vierschach.

A special feature of this project is the high quality level of the shell construction, which minimized the finishing work required to complete the resulting structure. This respects and reminds of the origins of stone buildings. Irregularities and grain also give the material a certain charm. The outer surfaces were made watertight and slightly re-sanded, while the lightweight concrete was used to implement the outer shell construction.

Pedevilla Architects’ work ultimately led to an award-winning and beautifully minimalist project, which was honored by Iconic Awards with the “Best of the Best 2016” award for architecture.

Interior of the fire station Vierschach
Exterior window of the Vierschach fire station

This article was originally published in Minimalissimo No. 2

Gustav Willeit
Pedevilla Architects

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