How can a building foster a sense of openness and dialogue with the public? This challenge informed the design of a new police headquarters and training facility in the western suburbs of Chicago.
The design creates a progressive civic building for the police department headquarters that—in concert with the adjacent fire department headquarters—forms a public safety campus in the heart of the community.
Extensive glass curtain walls express an architectural vocabulary based on transparency and reinforce the sense of accessibility, honesty and disclosure that are vital to community policing. A 60-foot-high tower serves as a beacon of safety that enhances the village skyline and doubles as an energy source (with solar hot water heating arrays incorporated into its facade) for the high-performance building.
HOK’s design increases workplace efficiency and promotes health and wellness, which are often overlooked in law enforcement buildings. The contemporary environment offers opportunities for decompression and personalization, with natural daylighting, ergonomic workstations, acoustical control between spaces and localized temperature control. A central staff hub area organizes workflow and connectivity while acting as an informal meeting place. On-site fitness facilities, a tactical training room and an indoor shooting range allow for convenience while reducing operating costs.
The team prioritized community involvement in the design process and engaged local organizations including the school, park and fire protection districts, area law enforcement agencies and the Rotary Club of Oswego. This dialogue informed how the facility could positively impact other programs and spur opportunities for public safety collaboration. One result of this engagement is a glass-walled community room that reiterates openness and offers a venue for educational seminars, training sessions and civic gatherings.