It has been almost a year since construction started on Portland Fire & Rescue’s new Station 21 on the Eastbank Esplanade. Now, the project from Whelton Architecture is nearing completion, and the much anticipated ‘water ripple’ screen [by artist David Franklin, in collaboration with architects Aaron Whelton and David P. Suttle] has been finally hung, and the end result is quite amazing.
Originally intended to act as a solar screen to reduce afternoon heat gain in addition to being an artistic expression, the rippling form was broken at the windows to allow the station’s staff to have unimpeded views in case of emergency. Regardless, the piece is still quite effective as a rain screen and as a visual landmark for the new station.
Once completed, the new station will house emergency vehicles for both land and water, staff accommodations, and a small community room. The accompanying boathouse was built separately, and has been in operation since early this year.