No. 228 . 16 February 2005 
ArchitectureWeek
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Fire Station Living de Paris

by Christian Horn

There's a newcomer to an otherwise typical Parisian suburban landscape of highways, railway lines, factories, and housing. In the fast-growing town of Nanterre, a fire station has become a new landmark, with a copper-colored facade that changes with the daylight.

Designed by the French architects Jean-Marc Ibos and Myrto Vitart, the fire station is also a redefinition of the building type, mixing conventional fire-fighting program elements with multifamily housing.

Ibos and Vitart became founding members of Jean Nouvel & Associates in 1985 and took part in some of that firm's most radical projects. Empowered by the experience of combining design and construction, the two joined forces to create their own firm in 1989. Since then, they have won several competitions and completed successful projects throughout France.

The program for the 124,000-square-foot (11,500-square-meter) fire station called for space for trucks, maintenance workshops, cafeteria, relaxation area, gymnasium, shared and single rooms, offices, and 30 apartments for firefighters' families. Despite the complexity of the mix of functions, the building layout still follows the regulations governing the design of such vital emergency centers.   >>>

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