Fire station Thal, Sulzberg (AT)
New building

Client: Municipality Sulzberg
Location A-6934 Sulzberg-Thal, Hagen 178
Architecture: Dietrich Untertrifaller
Competition: 2008
Construction: 2009 – 2010
Area: 604 m²
Program: Vehicle hall with command area, training room, village archive, office

Photos: Bruno Klomfar

Rafael Grups

Statics concrete: Mader & Flatz, Bregenz / Statics timber: Merz Kley Partner, Dornbirn / Building services: Pflügl Roth, Bregenz / Electrics: Meusburger, Bezau / Building physics: Weithas, Hard / Fire protection: IBS, Linz

The new fire station in Thal shows that timber construction and fire protection go hand in hand, even in functional buildings with all the complex technical requirements that go with them. The prominent position within the village and its spatial relationship to Gasthaus Krone asked for a sensitive approach.

The wooden hose tower, glazed on two sides, makes the fire department's activities visible from afar. The fire engines can be admired through a glass front facing the restaurant. The parking spaces for emergency services are laid out as green gravel lawns along the road.

The building is clearly separated into vehicle depot with control room and all other functions, which are grouped into compact units according to room height and temperature requirements. The radio and control room is elevated, overlooking both the vehicle depot and the forecourt with the crew’s entrance. A gravel lawn for emergency parking is situated alongside the road. The building’s top floor slight cantilever marks and shields the entrance area, which is adjoined by the control area and locker rooms. The top floor hosts a classroom, village archives, an office and auxiliary rooms. Its full glazing facing the village’s entrance transports and communicates the public function of the building.

Silver-fir-cladding gives the building a uniform appearance and responds to the traditional appearance of the village’s building typology. The large continuous glazing structures the building, creating an air of lightness and transparency. External shading protects the interior from overheating. While the vehicle depot is built as a solid structure, the top as well as the tube-shaped tower are constructed in timber. The tower’s two glass facades reveal a glimpse of the activities taking place at the fire station.

In order to achieve the required fire resistance duration of 60 minutes for the hall, the cross-sections of the load-bearing timber construction were dimensioned on the basis of fire calculations. As the solid timber walls also form a room closure, the construction must be smoke-tight. To ensure this, additional wooden slats with a cross-section of 4 x 4 cm were grooved between the individual glued-together timbers as so-called external springs. z

Floor plan L0