Retreat for Heroes

Retreat for Heroes

Fire Station Doetinchem

Even heroes deserve a pleasant retreat. The fire brigade in Doetinchem got theirs last year in the form of a new fire station.

Fire brigade – this means tough, fearless women and men who not only idiomatically go through fire and water. Where others rush out in panic, they prudently rush in. And even if there is not much more than securing oil on road or rescuing cats stuck in trees between the especially smoke and adrenalin-loaded operations, even the toughest fire fighters would probably not complain about a pleasant and elegant fire station for a retreat. The crew of the fire brigade in the Dutch town of Doetinchem may enjoy an especially attractive workplace between operations since 2014.

Green Oasis                                                   

Designed as a villa, this building by Bekkering Adams Architecten does not only look great, but is also situated at an especially idyllic spot. Majestic trees grow around and an important route for bats runs right next to it. Hence, it is no wonder that, besides functionality, sustainability and environmental integration were the leading design themes for the fire station. Bekkering Adams took environmental integration virtually literally, since an adjacent slope hits the building on one side like a green wave leaving large puddles of grass on patios and terraces. Regarding sustainability, the brick building convinces with an A+ energy label.

Vigilant Fortress

The dark building contrasts its organic environment with clear lines and appears amidst the green like a fortress watching over everything. This impression of vigilance is created by the overhanging upper floor, offering views to all sides by large glazing, patios and roof terraces. Inside, there is the open office area, a café, a fitness room and the living areas. These premises are flooded with light, due to the gigantic windows. The bedrooms are found below, on the first floor.

Bright above, stern below

Whereas the first and upper floor present themselves in shades of cream and bright brown, the ground floor gets much sterner. The ceiling shows no-nonsense exposed board-marked concrete, walls are grey-white, the flooring grey. This part of the building contains the shelter for the fire trucks, workshops and car wash. Another large part of this floor, however, consists of the much brighter entrance area with an enormous stairway connecting the floors with each other. And since the façade on the ground floor is almost entirely glazed, except for the side merging into the slope, there is also no lack of daylight.


That the new fire station is not only appreciated by the Doetinchem fire brigade has clearly been shown by the APA Awards (Architectuuprijs Achterhoek) 2014. Here, the Fire Station Doetinchem won both the jury award and the audience award for the best new building in the Dutch region. You don’t only love your heroes, you also appreciate it when they are treated well.

Project details


completion: 2014


program: 3.600 m²


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olesmith3's picture
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