connected magrè fire station

art project: christian kaufmann

an attentive approach to the rocky landscape dotted with vineyards, respect for the challenging and fragile local environment, a vigilant public-sector client and an unconventional architectural vision formed the starting points for the unusual, highly innovative fire station in magrè. selected in an open competition – a method that has been common practice for several years in south tyrol – the new complex was excavated into the rock face as an alternative to constructing a new building in a nearby field and thus occupying productive agricultural land. this unusual but intelligent and far-sighted solution avoids unnecessary land use and its dramatic staging is now something of a landmark. on the exterior, a reinforced concrete slab, the only part of the project visible from outside, is set one metre in front of the compact rock face, marking the presence of the new fire station and at the same time affording protection against falling rocks. the dark tones of the wall, which is set at a slight angle, echoing the contours of the mountain, blend in with the rock’s colouring, so that the architecture almost disappears. the three interlinked caverns within are arranged along a principal axis that runs perpendicular to the mountain; emerging from the walls between, metal frames surround sections for vehicles and equipment, alongside a double-height glazed structure that houses the administrative offices and a room for volunteers.

magrè fire station