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A functional and aesthetic ArcelorMittal steel façade for Libourne Fire Station
Designed according to the requirements of sustainable construction, this fire station and rescue centre in the French city of Libourne offers modern and flexible installations for the firefighters and administrative staff. ArcelorMittal's metallic coated steel and the perforated ST Lumiére siding panels contribute to the building's aesthetics and energy balance.
The fire and rescue services building in Libourne (France) is a striking construction made up of two distinct, but complementary buildings. Designed by Atelier des Architectes Mazières and Agence Ragueneau et Roux, each building has a separate purpose. The silver-coloured technical structure houses the firefighting and rescue equipment as well as living quarters, while the red administration block contains offices and training facilities. A monolithic watch tower defines the complex as a fire station and doubles as a training facility for the firefighters.
ArcelorMittal steel defines the structure
ArcelorMittal steel was chosen by architect Jean-Marie Mazières to enclose the buildings. An important choice as, with all its modernity, it sets the scene for further ecologically responsible construction in the area and received a positive response from the community. The area surrounding the fire-station includes a football stadium and housing which is set for complete redevelopment.
Sustainability was an important factor in the choice of materials for the architect: Apart from being reusable and 100% recyclable, metallic coated steel is extremely resistant to corrosion which gives it a long lifespan, saving on precious raw materials. It is also light and very manageable which, when it comes to transportation, means less CO2.
The metallic coated steel panels were stamped with a wave pattern, symbolising the importance of water to firefighters. ArcelorMittal helped locate a company (in Belgium) who could produce this particular wave effect: a company that normally produces car parts.
No need for air-conditioning
A fire truck mounted on a stand was Mazières’ inspiration for the red administration block. The top level is clad in ArcelorMittal’s ST Lumière® which is often used as a second skin for roofing or walls. Thanks to the steel's reflection of the sun, the building is surprisingly cool in summer.
Windows are also covered by sliding panels made of ST Lumière® which can be opened to allow light and fresh air to enter the office space. When sunlight hits a façade, the panels can be closed. This blocks the heat, but allows air to circulate through the building - an effect that makes air-conditioning unnecessary.
Additional sustainable features include the green roof and the water recovery system, that allows rainwater to be used for the green areas and training purposes of the firefighters.
Steel saves time and money
The entire fire station was constructed in just 12 months. The fact that it is almost entirely made of steel meant that construction was quick and easy and that there is no problem in adapting spaces or enlarging the building in the future.
Completed in 2009, the fire station has gained wide acceptance from the local community. Both firefighters and office workers are delighted with the simplicity and practicality of the construction.
Atelier des Architectes Mazières & Agence Ragueneau et Roux
©photo POSITIF Bordeaux