The site is located between Keynsham and Bristol with good access to the local road network. The 1,700m2 station is split into two main volumes, consisting of five appliance bays and a two storey accommodation block.
The building is arranged with service and operation on the ground floor and living spaces on the first floor. This is to reduce the internal response distances in the case of emergency call outs. Offices are positioned at the front of the plan, making the fire fighters visible to the passing public and ensuring a professional public-facing image.
Gym and training facilities are allocated to the rear of the building with the intention of ensuring service areas are out of view and activating the public frontage with interesting uses. Training facilities consist of a smoke house, working at height facilities, confined space training facilitiesand a vehicle response training and unloading area.
The station building responds to its context by using vernacular materials that can be found in agricultural buildings in the area. The two materials used are dark grey corrugated metal, rain screen cladding and vertically orientated larch cladding.
Karle Burford, Director at AHR, said "We designed the fire station to be a highly functional and operational building, allowing firefighters to have access to high quality training facilities and providing the most reliable and efficient service to the community, whilst still achieving an aesthetically pleasing end product."
Chief Fire Officer Kevin Pearson said: “I’m delighted the new Hicks Gate Fire Station is operational and now serving the local community. This is the first brand new fire station built in Avon since 1980 so it marks a real milestone. The station will be crewed around the clock, which means improved response standards for the areas previously served by an on-call station. The new station will also provide a state-of-the-art base and training facilities for our staff which will ensure the continuation of the excellent service we provide to the community.”
Hicks Gate is part of a wider accommodation rationalisation programme for Avon & Fire Rescue Service and AHR is involved with the upgrade and replacement of several other stations.