The master-planned Millenia development has been established as the new epicenter for South County and is San Diego’s newest iconic urban village. Designed as a unique mixed-use hub that embodies the shift towards lifestyle-centric living, the development provides a blend of activities and perks of a thriving community encompassed within a vibrant and modern architectural aesthetic. Due to the rapid expansion of the southeast side of the city, the Chula Vista Fire Department required a new fire station that would allow them to serve the Millenia Development and surrounding neighborhoods.
While working with the developer and the city, it was clear that complementing the character of the surrounding community was a critical component for the design of the fire station. The architectural design guidelines for Millenia and the city’s design review process guided the exterior design from inception to completion. The bold characteristics of the building responded to these requirements by incorporating strong geometric forms and architectural character found throughout the Millenia development while utilizing materials and colors that are unique to this specialized civic structure.
An iconic tower at the entry to the building serves as a design feature that not only references the historic context of hose towers in fire stations of the past but also provides a visible feature to help identify the station as a prominent neighborhood structure. LED strip lighting runs around the building and backlights the building signage creating a beacon for this public safety facility. The developer engaged their professional colorist to weigh in on the color palette chosen, determining that the vibrant green balanced with the industrial gray fit well within the community context.
The combination of cast-in-place concrete, stucco, and composite metal panels emphasize the quality of materials and construction, providing the permanence and durability required by the fire department for long term operational use. The materials selected for the interior of the building were chosen for both their aesthetic characteristics but more importantly their strength and longevity that ensure optimal performance for many years to come.
Although many fire station components are consistent from one project or jurisdiction to the next, each fire department operates in its own unique way. The design for this project represents a fully functional fire station that incorporates the latest in personnel safety and functional comfort tailored for those who live and work out of the station. This project is built to stand the test of time, decrease incident response times, and provide the community of Millenia with an iconic landmark.