HVZ FLUVIA Emergency Services Center

Kortrijk, Belgium
Compagnie O. Architects

The FLUVIA Emergency Service Center operates as the regional Fire station and Safety Center but also broadly invites the public to its information and educational learning facilities.

A fire station has always been a somewhat stubborn, self-referential bastion. Although fully at the service of society, the fire station operates on its own premises, somewhat distant from the public and highly focused on internal team discipline and spirit.
By contrast, this new building is a multidisciplinary safety centre with a broad view on society and an inviting open attitude. Fire brigades from different districts and other safety services will collaborate from this Safety Center, serving as the main nerve station in a larger regional network. This is in search of scale efficiency and better services for the citizen.

This responsive attitude challenges the traditionally hermetic fire station.A safety headquarter is and remains above all a high-performance machine, fully focused on speed ofintervention, overview, control and management.

This calls for a free playing field. We therefore place the project on a new pedestal, a level surface laid out from the road being the main operational vector within the safety business. This central courtyard organises all functions conveniently, pretty much like the layout of a classic Flemish rural farm.

We want to give this duality – internal efficiency and openness to the visitors – a recognisable place and a distinct form, as a prominent gatekeeper of the emerging Evolis Park, embedded in the surrounding wetland landscape.

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