History Meets the Future: The Lehi City Police Station Building
- December 30, 2019
- Architectural Design, Municipal Architecture, Public Architecture Utah, Utah County Architect
Curtis Miner Architecture Uses Elements of the Past in New Essential Services Facility
At Curtis Miner Architecture (CMA), our projects are about people and community. Those are the reasons many of us choose to work and live where we do. And that’s why it was a particular privilege to be awarded the design of a new Police Station building for Lehi City.
While the city is the home of tech companies like Adobe, Qualtrics and Domo, Lehi has a rich pioneer history that began in 1850. Miles away from Silicon Slopes, the downtown area is designated as an historic district by the National Park Service and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Police Station building is being constructed in the heart of downtown on the site of an old family store called the Broadbent Building that opened in 1882.
Our design approach began with careful listening and learning before we even began to draw. The team took into account the historical, social, and physical design context of the community. “Historically a farmer would own the land on an entire block and then divide it up and give a portion to each of his children,” explains firm principal Jay Taggart. “Each child would then build a home and barn. The result was a city block with buildings of different periods and styles.” The result of the design incorporated three distinct design periods and styles.
In addition to having an iconic civic facility, honoring the history of the 130-year old Broadbent Building was particularly important to Lehi leaders and residents. A seismic study had determined upgrading the masonry building was cost prohibitive and so the CMA design team explored design options that took inspiration from the old structure. “We really enjoyed facilitating two public meetings with city residents and personnel to solicit input,” remembers Jay. “Attendees identified and prioritized elements they believed were important for a new Police Station facility.”
Beginning with the pioneer and Broadbent eras, CMA identified three different styles and times and researched the architectural styles. We then meshed those three styles to create an overall building design while still maintaining the architectural character of historic buildings on Main Street and throughout Lehi.
The resulting design uses elements from the historic building such as transoms, window design and brick. “When the renderings were shared, one individual asked where we had moved Broadbent. He thought we had kept the building when it was actually torn down!” exclaims Jay. “That’s when I knew our team had really listened and designed a structure the community would embrace.”
The 43,800 square foot building will house working spaces, offices, holding cells, labs and evidence processing, interview rooms, and storage areas. Secure entrances and exits and a raised building with steps are a few of the hidden security features incorporated into the design.
A multi-purpose community space can also serve as an emergency operations center. This public space is where you see exterior details of the Broadbent Building brought inside, including salvaged brick. It’s attention to the little details — those that tie the past and future — that will help make this new Police Station building a part of the fabric of this community.