The historic Brooklyn Engine Company 239 fire station is part of the largest municipal fire department in the United States. Built in 1895, its brick and sculptural limestone exterior has provided more than a century of shelter and service to New York firefighters.
One challenge the architects faced was how to provide adequate fire and life safety protection between the main staircase and the apparatus area where the fire-trucks are housed, as well as between the main staircase and the upper floors where the firefighters live. The architects wanted to keep the main staircase open as in the original house, yet needed to meet strict fire and life safety codes. They also wanted to maintain visibility around each of the building’s fire poles, while providing a barrier against falls and protection against fire.
The architects found the solution with Pilkington Pyrostop® glass from Technical Glass Products (TGP). Pilkington Pyrostop® is an UL-listed glazing system that is fire-rated for up to two hours and meets the impact safety requirements of CPSC 16CFR1201 Category I and II.
The system blocks the spread of fire and smoke and protects against the transfer of radiant and conductive heat. This is essential to protecting firefighters and sensitive equipment in the firehouse. The transparent wall panels bring in large amounts of light, which helped the architects re-create the open environment found in the station’s original staircase design. They also allow for clear sightlines from inside the staircase and fire pole enclosures to the ground, which helps firefighters maneuver quickly and safely as they exit the building during fire calls.
Photographer: H. G. Esch