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How do we create a forward-thinking design that is responsive to the needs of a small agency?
In early 2021, FFA was selected by the City of Milton-Freewater to develop concept designs for a new Police & Dispatch Facility in preparation for a May Bond Measure vote. Following the Bond’s successful passage, our design team was hired to refine and further develop the design with the goal of delivering a much-needed new building by 2023. FFA always enjoys working in smaller communities and developing designs that elevate their civic architecture while being place-specific and responsive to the existing built environment. In this case, we worked to create a forward-thinking building design that will help the City and Police to enhance their partnership with the community as well as attract talent from the surrounding region.
It was important that the new building contribute to a strong civic center, taking some exterior cues from the City Hall and Library across the street. Because the site is also surrounded by nearby residential neighborhoods, the new facility needs to integrate into the residential context of the neighboring properties.
The team engaged staff and officers to understand how best to tailor the design to meet their operational needs while fitting the building appropriately on the small, constrained site. As the design evolved with the client, the vision of a warm and welcoming building with a facade that softens the public’s initial impression of the department took shape.
The resulting design looks nothing like the cramped, unsecured basement space in city hall where the department currently operates. Instead, it sparks interactions among people, provides modern-day workspaces with abundant access to daylight, and features a cross-laminated timber (CLT) roof and ceiling system. Operational requirements, ideal program adjacencies, and community functions were all carefully considered. The design organizes all spaces in a logical sequence of operations to support the everyday needs of officers and staff. The thoughtful new design advances the department’s goals for a community-centered policing model.
Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT)