Sweet Sparkman Architecture and Interiors received two national design awards from Firehouse Magazine and The Architect's Newspaper for its design of Longboat Key's Fire Station 92, which opened in August 2021 at 2162 Gulf of Mexico Drive.
Firehouse Magazine awarded Sweet Sparkman its Career Stations 2 Bronze award, while The Architect’s Newspaper awarded the design firm the Editor’s Pick commendation in its 2022 Best of Design Awards for the civic category.
“This project represents the pursuit of architecture’s highest ideals,” founder Todd Sweet said in a news release. “It’s functional, resilient, and a visual landmark."
Jenna Albers worked alongside Sweet as the project manager and lead architect for the fire station, which the release characterized as "a stylistically stunning structure."
“Todd and his team came in early on in the process and did a thorough site assessment,” Fire Chief Paul Dezzi said in the release. "When he gave a very compelling, honest presentation on their findings, it was an easy decision for our board and commission.”
Sweet noted that the elevation of the station was a critical component in the design as the barrier island sits about three feet above sea level.
Other notable functional characteristics of the station are its cancer-prevention strategies, which are focused on reducing a firefighter’s exposure to carcinogenic chemicals found in diesel exhaust and active fires. Diesel fumes are captured inside the apparatus bays, while firefighter equipment and clothing are corralled and cleaned in specialized rooms that are separate from the station’s living quarters.
“This wasn’t your typical fire station project in that the town of Longboat Key wanted something more sophisticated than a traditional fire station,” Albers said.
The exterior of the building was designed to reduce cooling costs while still allowing natural light inside through the main entrance.
The station, which was demolished before being rebuilt and remodeled cost $4,251,085.