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Fire station network project on the territory of the Krzesin Park.

Dobrawa Bies
12 of July '21

The work, by Aleksandra Lisiak, takes us to the Krzesinski Landscape Park, where, due to the higher fire risk, the Wroclaw University of Technology graduate proposed building a network of fire stations that would improve the safety of the area and support the integration of residents.

The project, "Fire stations as an inclusive element of space," received first prize this year in the Wroclaw edition of the Zbyszek Zawistowski SARP Diploma of the Year competition. Aleksandra Lisiak prepared her master's thesis under the supervision of supervisor Dr. Tomasz Glowacki from the Department of Architecture and Visual Arts at the Faculty of Architecture of the Warsaw University of Technology.

fire station vs. village

The area developed by Aleksandra was chosen by her after analyzing and superimposing two maps - areas of natural and scenic value and a map showing municipalities insufficiently protected in terms of fire (provided by the State Fire Service). In this way, the student chose the region of Krzesinski Landscape Park, which meets both conditions.

Mapa Krzesińskiego
Parku Krajobrazowego z naniesioną siatką remiz  Inwentaryzacja remiz
strażackich na terenie Polski

Map of Krzesinski Landscape Park with the fire station grid plotted, and inventory of fire stations in Poland

© Aleksandra Lisiak

According to Eurostat data, Poland is one of the most rural countries in the European Union. The population of the countryside along the Vistula is growing, and as much as 93% of the country's area is classified as rural. These areas are affected by many problems, the most severe of which is climate change, including drought. This one leads to an increased number and increased strength of fires, the scale of which is exacerbated by the burning of grasslands. Inherent in the theme of the village is the function of the fire station, not only providing fire protection, but also being a space for the activation of residents. The inclusive nature, combined with the continuity of the TSO institution, results in its strong rooting in the social consciousness. The network of communities that fire stations form on the map of Poland illustrates the phenomenon of this organization and its potential, which is worth developing in the future. Hence, the designed fire station has a chance to become a catalyst for positive changes, by expanding the cultural and social offer inscribed in the traditional triangle of relations church - fire station - village head," says Aleksandra Lisiak.

 Wieża OSP Kłopot
z panoramą wsi

Kłopot TSO tower with a panorama of the village

© Aleksandra Lisiak

The tower for tourists and firefighters

The author assumed the expansion of the existing network of fire stations in twelve villages surrounding the landscape park. A tower would be erected in each of these villages, which would also serve as a vantage point for tourists. It could become the start of a new fire station or the impetus for expanding community functions at these locations. The network of towers would be on the student's proposed tourist route around the park, reuniting it. It would be a 62.8-kilometer loop, possible for a cyclist to complete in 3.5 hours. A section of it would run along the bed of the Oder River. In addition, the author laid out two shorter loops.

Plac strażacki.
Wyjazd strażaków do Maszewa do pożaru poddasza.

fire station square in the village of Połęcko

© Aleksandra Lisiak

fire station in Połęcko village

The project focuses on one extended unit in the village of Połęcko. This village, the author chose because of its strategic location right next to the Oder River, the most numerous firefighting team, a considerable shortage of TSO premises and the lack of needed service and cultural functions in the village. In the landscape, the designed building is distinguished by a tower placed at the intersection of roads. Respecting the context, the plan of the building, is based on the pattern of homestead buildings. Formally, it continues the rural character of the site through the use of gabled roofs.

Remiza we wsi
Połęcko Rzut parteru remizy

The fire station in Połęcko village and the first floor plan

© Aleksandra Lisiak

two squares

The premise consists of two separate squares, the public and the fire station. Around the first one, social functions such as the village hall, restaurant, public toilets, rooms for the orchestra and the Youth Fire Team were located. The courtyard would host various social activities such as a market, harvest festival, concerts and a village theater. It would be paved with pavers, with sprinkler floors in the center and green spaces with plantings and meadow vegetation.

Główna hala
garażowa Sala orkiestry

open days and orchestra rehearsal

© Aleksandra Lisiak

The fireman's square, on the other hand, serves as a maneuvering space, but also as a place for firefighters' exercises or ceremonies. A technical and storage building, rooms used by firefighters, sleeping quarters and a gym are spread around it. A double-serviced garage located in the center of the establishment connects the two yards. The fire station has been expanded to include rooms for the Water Rescue Squad and a canoe rental shop on the -1 floor opening entirely to the river.

The conglomeration of various functions allows the cultural and social offer to reach all residents of the village and provides income important for the economic functioning of the unit, the architect explains.

The closing buckle of the project is the assumption of a bridge. Its existence facilitates the functioning of TSOs and residents, and connects the banks of the Oder prompting greater integration of the region's population. The entire premise is tied together by a brick-colored building material, corresponding with the surrounding buildings and firefighter red.

financial issues

Aleksandra Lisiak also took into account issues of financing the facility. She minimized maintenance expenses for the firehouse by planning to use renewable energy. She proposed floating generator turbines on the river, photovoltaic panels and solar panels on the garage roof. She also divided the facility into independent zones, which would allow heating only those parts of the building that would be used during a given period. Adequate natural light also contributes to reducing costs. The functions proposed for the fire station would also allow the TSO to raise additional funds. It could earn money by renting out rooms, the village hall or by providing space for a restaurant and canoe rental.

Makieta –
założenie w Połęcku

much of the building is constructed using rammed earth technology

© Aleksandra Lisiak

natural building materials

The cost of constructing the guardhouse would be reduced by using rammed earth technology, obtained from excavations, in the above-ground part of the building. This simple method allows for community erection of the building by the local community. The rammed earth, with an admixture of red clay in the formwork, gives the effect of a red facade referring in color to the brick buildings in the village.

Earth is an ecological and environmentally friendly material, which additionally creates a good climate inside the building due to its natural absorption and release of moisture. The use of rammed earth walls in the design of a public building could become a good advertisement for this type of ecological construction, the author adds.

A network of fire stations binding the neighborhood together

In preparing her work, the young architect conducted a series of interviews with firefighters of TSO units from the Lubuskie and Wielkopolska provinces. She talked to villagers, conducted photo inventories, analyzed archival photos and leafed through dozens of reports on the state of the Polish countryside or fire rescue units.

Główna droga
prowadząca do wsi Połęcko

The main road leading to the village of Połęcko

© Aleksandra Lisiak

The fire station as an inclusive element of space binds the neighborhood together. An extensive, formally coherent network of fire stations creates a clear boundary of a tourist-attractive landscape park, protected by cooperating TSO units. The expanded socio-cultural offer, which is aimed at everyone, integrates residents in the various localities. The project is an attempt to restore the prestige of volunteer rescue services and highlight the role they play through their service. The developed network of fire stations can become a model for application in other locations," concluded Aleksandra Lisiak.

The rural theme was also taken up by Dominika Cichoń, another graduate of the Wrocław University of Technology, designing a vineyard in the village of Rytwiany. Meanwhile, an alternative housing development along the lines of rural assumptions is the work of Damian Kuna.


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