- Name: Dhanushka Nishan
- Year: 2019
- Studio: Level III
- University: University of Moratuwa
This project on the new fire station is being implemented with several new ideas which mainly includes a circular structure of the building and a public awareness center. This would benefit the firemen and should be act as an antidote for the stress they partake on a daily basis and would act as a stress reliever, minimizing fatal deaths by educating the public regarding precautions taken during a fire and also this is organized in a way that it does not disturb either party.
Avissawella, is a big town in Sri Lanka, governed by an Urban Council, situated on the A4 route from Colombo to Rathnapura, Colombo District, Western Province, Sri Lanka, approximately 59 km east of capital Colombo. It is also known as Seethawakapura.
It is on the periphery of the Western Province on its border with the Sabaragamuwa Province.
This town has a rich and proud history in the annals of its military exploits against the Portuguese invaders as it was the capital of Sitawaka Kingdom from 1521 to 1593.
During the past, this area was known as Seethawaka and this name is used to identify a section of this town to this day. Seethawaka river, a tributary of the Kelani river, flows in the outskirts of the city. The city is rapidly transforming into an industrial city with the establishment of the Seethawaka Export Promotion Zone during late 1990s. After this Zone was established, the population of Avissawella increased rapidly due to migrant workers and the resultant lead to increase in number of residents.
Site is located 400 m away from the Colombo- Batticaloa main road in Kudagama road. Its long axis is along the east west directions , facing the Kudagama road towards west. The site is surrounded by a bare land in north, narrow road in south and east. A Hindu kovil and the Awissawella Janadipathi Vidyalaya is located near the site respectively in 65m and 100m. It has a natural slope of 4 m rising backwards along the site.
IMPORTANCE OF A FIRE STATION TO AWISSAWELLA
- Long distance to nearby fire stations is a main issue for the need of a fire station to Awissawella. Once a fire situation happens Fire brigades should arrive within least time. Even Horana fire brigade is the closet, as a minimum it will take one hour to arrive Awissawella.
- Rathnapura: 43 km
- Horana: 42.7 km
- Kandy: 85 km
- Export zone: Exporting industry is one of the major ways of income in Srilanka. Therefore, it is very important to secure the status of the industry among the customers. If any damage happens to the zone because of a fire it will directly affect the whole industry.
What is firefighting?
Firefighting is a job which requires bravery, strength, quick thinking and wide range of skills. Fire fighter is a soldier who sacrifices his life to protect others. They suppress fires to protect lives, property and the environment. Firefighters also provide an important role in educating the public regarding fire and safety.
- Other jobs: Work 8 hours per day. Take an enough rest daily. Can leave the office as soon as the work time is over
- Firefighting: Work 24 hours continuously. Should respond to immediate public emergency situations. Cannot be off the duty until his substitute officer reports to the job
Stress in Firefighters
As with other emergency workers, firefighters may witness traumatic scenes during their careers. They are thus more vulnerable than most people to certain mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder and suicidal thoughts and behaviors. some amount of stress actuates peak performance, especially in life-threatening situations, too much stress for extended periods of time adversely impacts the body and mind. Firefighting has been rated as the most stressful job of 2015, according to a survey carried out by Career cast, a premier careers-based Web site. Indeed, prolonged stress is one of the leading causes of health problems among firefighters. If not identified and managed in a timely manner, excessive stress can manifest as symptoms of depression and anxiety, headaches, digestive problems, hypertension, and even heart attacks.
Although we can reduce stress level in the building due to external situations where firefighters go on mission the stress level is affected with the surrounding situation as for the context. Awissawella also as a context deals with such stress levels.
Awissawella has a huge vehicle traffic in weekends and weekdays. It can be seen during 7 to 8.30 in the morning and 5 to 7 in the evening of weekdays. This situation happens because of the Export zone transportations. Over 120 buses pass the city daily, taking employees to their hometowns.
Another reason is Awissawella works as a transportation hub which connects several cities. Therefore, a huge number of vehicles travel through the city resulting a high traffic in the area.
Because of this situation fire fighters will not be able to respond emergencies within few minutes. It occurs as a lack of certainty when they report to the hazarders locations, due to these reasons fire fighters constantly get cold down and as a result this affects a fire fighter psychologically calls in stress. As a response giving knowledge about the subject through an awareness center it helps in making the situation easy for both parties where stress can be dealt. Public awareness is the key strategy to achieve this.
What is awareness?
- Conduct leadership programs
- Teach building regulations
- Giving knowledge about basic medicines
- Provide precautions
- Provide extinguishers
- Public will get a better understanding about taking actions in a fire situation
- Create a favorable public condition for fire fighters while fire hazards
- Helps to release the stress of the fire fighters
- Make an interest about their job
- Volunteer fire fighters in the city and schools
- To arrange all the functions in a proper manner
- To create a peaceful environment for the firefighters
- TO welcome the public to the building
- To separate private and public spaces
We know that humans are more attracted to curvilinear shapes than angular shapes, something backed by several recent studies. Scientists believe this makes sense from an evolutionary perspective: “It goes back to primitive roots in nature, where most shapes are curvilinear,” they say. “They’re softer, they provide some safety, as opposed to angular shapes–the teeth of an animal, the hard shape of a rock. Those are signifiers of danger.” Another theory is that humans associate geometric shapes with emotions and that circles correspond with happiness. Circular shaped spaces and ramps tend to attract people and it is said that it will help for intellectual relaxation.
Lower Ground level has the Apparatus bay and all the facilities for the firefighters including Barrack, Rest areas, Kitchen, Laundry room and Gymnasium etc. This level is specified for the firefighters because they can respond emergencies within less time because of this space arrangement.
All the administrational spaces are provided in the upper ground level. Public can reach this level directly through the main Entrance. Building is surrounded with a ramp which connect each level. This ramp is created with the rest areas and different educational functions in several levels to provide an interest during walking around the building. Exhibition Space, Cafeteria and the public awareness Center is located above this level. Each level is connected by a circular staircase and the emergency poles.
Fire fighters can Use all these spaces during on duty times. It helps them to release their stress level as they meet new people and new activities. Public and private spaces are separated using a creeper mesh. It helps to provide cross ventilation and enough sunlight to the building while separating the functions visually. Steel, concrete and timber are used in a proper manner to achieve the structural and visual qualities.