Project Specification:
Sector: Design & Build
Client: Lioncross Gorse Lane LLP
Location: Godalming, Surrey
Project Value: £900k
Timescale: 60 weeks

Opened in 1904, Godalming Fire Station was located in the centre of the borough in Queen Street. As with many historic town centre municipal buildings, their location, requirement or use changes over time. As Godalming town centre became more built up access to the fire station was challenging and, in 1980, it relocated to the main road.

The old building was used as an auction house for a number of years. The vacant property was then purchased in 2015 by property developers Lioncross Gorse Lane and Buildwise was awarded the contract to erect a three storey new building following the demolition of the disused fire station.

The site consisted of various buildings – the engine house, fireman’s recreation room, stores and offices. According to a press cutting “The engine house is built of red brick facings and is paved with Candy’s buff paneled bricks. The men’s room has a match boarded dado and a bench is fitted on one side and a lavatory basin in the corner. It is lighted throughout with electric light and gas is laid on for warming purposes.”

Local architects Plan A’s design has moved on from ‘a lavatory basin in the corner’. They wanted to reflect the architecture of the Victorian fire station in the new building, and this has been achieved with an industrial element to the design and the materials used. Design features include a large arched fenestration at first-floor level, and a heavy gauge sliding timber door to the ground floor cycle storage area. Elevations are red brick soldier courses with a roofline of slate grey to emulate the adjacent buildings.