police department building design
© ADG

Are you in charge of hiring an architect to help you design a police station? While many police stations are incredibly basic, some are works of functional art. In this post, we are going to share some inspiring police station building examples with you. But first, let’s talk about why you should consider metal as your main building material for your police station.

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Why Choose Metal for a Police Station?

Here are some reasons to go with a metal structure for a police department building.

orlando police station building
© ADG
  • Save on construction costs: Metal buildings are often very cost-effective, in large part because they are frequently assembled from prefabricated components. The components themselves are produced efficiently and affordably in manufacturing facilities where conditions are tightly controlled, leading to an impressively high degree of precision. The assembly of the prefab components also tends to be fast and cost-effective compared to stick-built traditional structures.
  • A safe, sturdy building: Metal is a strong building material, especially steel. Whatever type of metal you choose, it will be fire-resistant, pest-proof, and able to stand up to strong winds and precipitation. It will also meet the secondary goal of promoting an image of strength.
  • Limited maintenance: You do not need to do much to maintain a metal building; your police station building should be in fantastic condition many years in the future. That way, you can keep on working without interruptions to keep the people in your community safe.
  • Work conditions: The versatility of design that is possible with metal buildings means you can build a structure that will be a functional and enjoyable workplace for your police force. Try integrating large windows into the design to bring in natural light.
  • Send a message: Commissioning police station architects to build a striking structure not only can help you build an aesthetically pleasing building, but it can send a message to the community. Historically, police stations tend to have a closed-off, imposing appearance. Now, the trend is toward structures that are more open and welcoming. If you are looking to achieve that change in your own police force’s public image, a beautifully-designed metal building may help you to accomplish that goal.

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Police Station?

The cost to construct a metal building is anywhere from $11 to $40 per square foot.

That is just the cost for basic construction; there are additional costs for shipping, assembly, finishing and features.

According to a writer in RCS who took a look at police station sizing data for stations in California, “The resulting space per officer for the twenty-three agencies ranged from a high of 607 square feet to a low of 133 square feet. The average was 347 square foot per officer, with ten policing agencies above that average and thirteen policing agencies below that average.”

So, using that information, you may be able to estimate approximately how large your police station should be for the number of people working there. You can then multiply by cost per square foot to estimate the basic cost of the building. Of course, you will need to research the additional costs to get a full estimate that includes everything.

Inspirational Examples of Police Department Buildings

You have a better idea now what it will cost you to build a metal police station. Let’s check out some beautiful examples of metal police station architecture.

1. Fuencarral-El Pardo Police Station by Voluar Arquitectura

© Angel Baltanás

Here is a gorgeous modern police station built in 2008. The goal of the design was to make it feel open and inviting to the public, rather than closed-off and forbidding. This is achieved both from the placement of the building with respect to the property line, and the generous use of windows.

The architects explain, “The project tries to change the relationship between a state-owned building and the community through layers of transparency.” They continue, “The anodized aluminum mesh screens are periodically perforated to control depth of field and light penetration. These panels impede visibility towards the interior during the day while allowing undisturbed views to the surrounding city; at night, the building glows with light to expose the inner functions to the outside world. Anodized aluminum gives the impression that the building is constantly changing, responding to the light and chromatic variations throughout the day and the seasons”

This also seems like it would suggest to the public the adaptive, responsive way the police force would handle the changing situations in the surrounding area.

2. Sheboygan Police Department by Zimmerman Architectural Studios

Sheboygan Police station building
© Greg Gent

Similar to the police station above, this one also features a design that emphasizes openness and transparency. Not only does plenty of light flow out of the structure at night, but during the day, the interior receives an abundance of natural light, making for pleasant working conditions.

Describing the choice of materials in the design, the architects write, “The exterior of the police station is clad in a monolithic burnished concrete block intended to convey a sense of stability and security. The upper walls are clad in a silver metal panel in contrast to the dark gray deep ribbed metal panel accenting two projecting bays that define an external division between the public and internal functions of the police department.”

3. Windsor Police Department by Roth Sheppard Architects

Windsor Police Department building
© Roth Sheppard Architects

With its large, sweeping triangular awning jutting up above its glass façade, the Windsor Police Department is certainly one of the most eye-catching police stations you will ever see. The interior also sports some intriguing angles, and lots of natural light.

Reportedly, the previous police station in Windsor was obliterated by a tornado. It was apparently pretty enclosed and uncomfortable. So, we imagine that those working in the new structure are relieved by the upgrade, even if it did come at costly circumstances.

4.  Belen Police Station by EDU

One more police station building that is well worth a look is this one by EDU in Columbia. It stands out in an instant with its striking red façade. Indeed, the intention was for it to serve as a kind of beacon for the community of Medellin.

In fact, along with serving as a police station, it also fills other functions, offering amenities such as a restaurant, a gym, an auditorium, and community care offices. The beautiful landscaping around the station accommodates parks, walkways, plazas, and even some fields for soccer. Just by encouraging people to spend time near the police station, this design helps create a positive bond with the police force.

Police Station Architecture Can Change Public Perception

Many people feel an instinctual sense of unease when they drive or walk past a police station; the closed-off architecture furthers their concerns that police are intimidating figures.

But the job of a police force is to protect the community—to be authoritative, but kind. With a metal police station building featuring an open, beautiful design like those we shared above, you too can help members of your community to understand that the police are on their side.