When creating buildings for emergency services, efficiency is more important than aesthetics, but SAMYN and PARTNERS' fire station design is a rare example of a building that manages to combine both factors seamlessly. The circular fire station decreases response time for emergency vehicles thanks to the building's location as well as its shape.
The fire station, which is located in Charleroi, Belgium, is right at the edge of the motorway, giving the firefighters quick access to a main artery through the town. As if this location didn't reduce response time enough on its own, the fire station design makes use of the continuity of a circle to increase it further. The circular fire engine hangar has garage doors around the entire building, and those engines are parked facing the doorways. When an alarm sounds, firefighters can jump into the vehicles and exit the building all at once, driving clockwise around the circle to exit and ensuring that they don't interfere with one another.