|This state-of-the-art police facility is set on a 10 acre greenfield site serving a growing blue-collar suburb 15 miles south of downtown Dallas. Though the Department recently completed a downtown headquarters, this will be the first new police station constructed in Dallas since a generation of “bunker” mentality structures built 20 years ago, and is envisioned as a prototype for a new public image signifying the structure as a “beacon of safety” and community center. The project is tracking a Silver LEED® rating for Sustainable Design.
The functional program includes a 38,000 sf. substation with community meeting areas, a vehicle maintenance/washing/refueling facility, and discrete parking and garden areas for the public, staff, and departmental vehicles. Client visioning sessions identified design goals which included creating a warm, open and inviting relationship reaching out to the community while dealing sensitively and invisibly with the security needs of officers and staff. Maximizing the efficiency of day to day operations so officers have more time to spend out in the community and the encouraged integration of patrol officers and investigations officers (two very different cultures) into a shared work environment were high priorities, as was a facility which strengthened the sense of camaraderie and loyalty to service that are the foundation of the police force. From the City’s perspective, a key issue was the creation of a new, appropriately civic “beacon of safety” image, reinforcing the symbolic connection between the local community and the larger City and law enforcement Department.
The steel-framed building consists of a bar elongated in the east/west direction under a long, sloping roof, and rotated 5 degrees to the ideal solar orientation. A supporting element at the rear is splayed off facing due north. The public (south) façade features a soaring, curvilinear glazed public concourse, visually connecting the community with the front service desk, neighborhood policing and administrative offices; a stainless steel “jewel-box” meeting room projecting forward towards the community at the front entry; a “Grand Hall” where patrol and investigations officers will work side-by-side in a maximum-flexibility, bright soaring environment; and a spatially dynamic “Main Street” through the center of the structure, planned carefully for social interaction and efficient pedestrian movement and capped with a continuous clerestory light monitor. The building is clad in Texas Limestone, hearkening back to the civic structures of Downtown Dallas, set in a fastening system that allows for easy replacement in the event of vandalism (or drive-by shootings).
Sustainable design features include: shifted site placement of the building to the ideal, computer generated orientation for thermal performance; a geo-thermal mechanical system, capitalizing on the adjacency of a nearby creek; high levels of wall and roof insulation; use of a “cool” roof throughout; high-performance, low-e coated insulating glazing; maximum natural daylighting through the entire station; native, low irrigation plant materials; on-site rainwater retention systems; operable windows for nighttime ventilation; extensive use of local, renewable and recycled-content materials; and a maximum-flexibility work area served with raised floor air, power and data distribution.