Copyright © 2017, Jim Andrews and Dean Vance
All Rights Reserved
Goal. Create a live-work space that celebrates the building’s history, preserves its architectural integrity, and transforms the now forlorn structure and concrete lot into a multifunctional, self-sustaining, attractive green space for single owner-occupants.
Our plan would keep the firehouse itself largely unchanged in terms of layout. As single owner-occupants, we would not need to divide the space into multiple units, or drastically change the existing interior structure. Our approach would embrace the existing space divisions, and restore bathrooms and staircases rather than replace them. We want to live and work in an updated version of what already exists. Doing what is necessary to make the building habitable and efficient, but keeping changes as minimal as possible, is our ambition.
We have strategically planned our largest changes to the property for the roof and back lot. With this approach, we can tailor a portion of the design to our needs from scratch, but achieve it without irreversibly changing existing innate beauty, and heritage of the firehouse. In its current state, the roof and lot are essentially blank canvases. Our objective would be to keep and restore everything possible in both areas — most notably, the brick garden wall and the rooftop portion of the hose drying shaft. From there, we would be mindful of keeping changes to both areas reversible to the greatest extent possible.
In terms of interior alterations, the most drastic change we would likely make to the inside of the building is the addition of a kitchen in the main living space. We would, however, design this element so it could be removed with relative ease to restore the area to its original state. We would achieve this with an “open plan” design that would not require major alterations to the interior structure.