Bayside Fire Station by Owen Architecture
Heritage: National Commendation
Australian Institute of Architects
Many children must fantasize about living in a fire station but few if any will ever have the opportunity. For this family, the former Wynnum Fire Station has been their home for a number of years and for the most part they have lived with the impracticalities of an outdoor stair providing access to bedrooms on the upper level, which were located in the former recreational spaces. Returning to the ground floor via the existing fireman’s pole wore thin, apparently, and the architect was engaged to solve the problem of internalizing the house without compromising the integrity of the original building. A simple lean-to roof was attached to the rear elevation, giving the back of the fire station a new front to the garden and a space for open-plan living. The skillion roof and the detailing of the extension subtly acknowledge the original building fabric. Careful consideration of the internal spaces preserved the original external stair within the internal space. Windows and ornamental details remain legible through considerable restraint. The outcome of this project significantly exceeds the limited means through which it was delivered.