Myrtle Grove Fire Station | Louisiana

Situated less than 1,000 feet away and between the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi River, KAS created this station to withstand inundation from floods and storm surges.

Hurricane Katrina washed away Myrtle Grove’s original two-bay metal building in 2005, with Hurricane Isaac destroying the rebuilt station in 2012. Knowing history was bound to repeat itself, the fire department called upon Kirkpatrick Architecture Studio to design a structure which had the potential to survive the next severe weather event. Utilizing information from FEMA 549, KAS crafted a unique two-story station design housing only the two apparatus bays on the ground floor. In the event of rising water, the bays’ concrete block walls will break away down to the reinforced concrete frame, allowing water to pass through and leave the second floor operational. The second floor—built 22 feet above-ground—contains the living quarters, generators, equipment, and accommodations for seven.

During preconstruction, KAS brought in 11 feet of fill dirt to boost the station’s location from below sea level to seven feet above. The poured-in-place concrete frame sits on 254 piers driven 60 feet down to support the structure’s weight in the extremely high water table. KAS readily met this project’s challenges—and the community’s needs—with thorough planning, a unique design response to the site, and careful construction administration.