Muscatine’s small, aging fire station couldn’t handle a planned increase in service area, so they brought in INVISION to create a new design that accommodated both immediate and future growth within a modest budget. The team decided that the project’s limited resources would be spent on strategic aspects to maximize the benefits. Unique site constraints on three sides, as well as sandy soil conditions, posed challenges when developing programmatic spaces and planning the site. 

The team worked together to devise a planning solution that positioned the apparatus bay nearest to the railroad to act as a buffer for the living areas in the facility. INVISION worked to integrate the living and work spaces throughout the building, while still clearly designating the living spaces as private to provide security. 

Load-bearing, insulated, precast concrete panels were chosen for the structure at the apparatus bay because they served multiple purposes:

  • Vertical structure
  • Durable interior and exterior wall finish
  • Building thermal envelope

To blend in with the traditional character of the building’s context, familiar materials were utilized in atypical ways. Therefore, the finished design still presents a unique aesthetic without clashing with its surroundings.

Mike Dean
Project Manager

Muscatine Fire Station is a great example of how working with a great owner and creative designer, a project team can overcome challenges and produce a great building. The site was presented to the design team as unbuildable” with an active railroad on one side and a service building located in the front. With an open mind, collaboration and vision, a solution was developed where the apparatus bay was located near the railroad tracks providing a buffer to the sleeping quarters. The materials on the exterior were expressed to match the function: precast concrete for the durability for the storage of trucks and lap siding to create a residential feel to the sleeping quarters.