"The new 15,000-SF Windermere Town Facilities campus consists of a consolidated building for town administration and the police department, a separate structure for public works, a pre-engineered metal building for public works storage / workshop, and the central utility plant. The building’s hardened design incorporates redundant systems, allowing it to remain fully functional to ensure continued operational capability.
The Windermere Police Department and Town Facilities Building was designed to be community-friendly in keeping with the town’s commitment to the premise of community policing. The building presents itself as a friendly and inviting Public Facility, nestled in the trees. It welcomes both at the scale of pedestrians walking the town promenade on the way to the farmers market and the scale of a vehicle traversing the town’s main intersection traffic circle.
Due to the design, the Windermere Police Department was able to achieve Florida accreditation for Law Enforcement for the first time in its history. Department accreditation enhances community understanding of the law enforcement agency and its role in the community as well as its goals and objectives. Citizen confidence in the policies and practices of the agency is increased.
The design facilitates both the police department and town administration’s interaction with the community through a central lobby. This space is transparent and inviting, uniting the two town departments as well as connecting public spaces in front of and behind the facility. The separation between private and public is gradual and subtle in order to preserve the relationship with the community.
As the lobby bridges the interior and exterior, police department and town administration components, the facility’s multi-purpose classroom bridges public safety and the community that it serves. The space utilizes transparency and orientation to orient itself towards the community and natural context of the area and the live oak trees preserved during the construction of the facility. This multi-purpose room is utilized by police community educational opportunities as well as other public events.
The building has become a catalyst for new sustainability objectives within the town, including minimized impact to existing trees on-site. The form and layout of the buildings on the site have been carefully organized based on the locations of the existing mature live oak trees, including their canopies and root systems. An arborist was consulted to determine the health of the trees on the site and which trees need to be saved versus which are at the end of their life span. It was determined that a specialty cantilevered foundation design would be required near the entry in order to preserve the root systems of the largest trees."
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