The Warrandyte Police Station was designed by Kerstin Thompson Architects, KTA is located in Melbourne, Australia. The Warrandyte Police Station was commissioned as one of a pair; two 16-hour stations in relative proximity to each other in Melbourne’s green belt bush suburbs. With the same brief and two distinctive sites, the first step was to make a site-specific architecture using a generic program. The architects pursued an economical architecture to achieve two different personalities for these stations. The overall form of this building was afforded through a simple massaging of the program arrangement to maintain key functional relationships within a form responsive to the adjacent conditions.
The second step was to provide an identity with a luxurious face of lustrous green glazed bricks on an otherwise minimal concrete block shell. 16-hour stations are central to the local community. KTA understood them to be less about lock-up and more as a day to day guardian of the neighbourhood. They chose to present the police force as less formidable, resisting the typically fortress-like language of other stations, while maintaining a civic presence. Almost anthropomorphic, with its bent plan and green, furry skin the station’s figurative quality is perhaps what endears it to its local community. The ramp is a welcoming gesture to the street, while the generous and light filled interior spaces offer a sense of home for all users especially the police.
The kink in the plan twists the building’s face toward the main street to the north and defines a garden on the street. The green bricks register the suburb’s identity, associated with the bush landscape, and their glazed surface reflects the vegetation so that the building is gently situated within an indigenous garden. The richness of the project lies in its simple domestic construction and overall economy of means. There is a clear hierarchy to the elevations. The main façade suggests a sense of address and a face; the west façade incorporates timber louvers that shield against the afternoon light while capturing river and bush views for the workspaces behind. The northern elevation is the most domestic; modest and conventional, it is in-keeping with the hierarchy of facades. The articulated green façade is strategic in achieving an architectural richness, offset through an economy of means in conventional domestic construction for the building.