In Tultitlán, Mexico a fire station by Departamento del Distrito, ORU, TALLER Architects, and Ricardo García Santander blends into its industrial surroundings

Blaze of Glory

In Tultitlán, Mexico a fire station by Departamento del Distrito, ORU, TALLER Architects, and Ricardo García Santander blends into its industrial surroundings

Felipe Angeles Fire Station in Tultitlan, State of Mexico (Courtesy Departamento del Distrito)

Just north of Mexico City lies the peripheral municipality of Tultitlán de Mariano Escobedo, the centerstage for urban development projects in Mexico. Among these new urban developments is Felipe Ángeles Fire Station, a project by Mexico City–based design firm Departamento del Distrito, along with Oficina de Resiliencia Urbana (ORU), Ricardo G. Santander, and TALLER. The building was commissioned by the ambitious Urban Improvement Program (PMU), a country-wide development effort spearheaded by the Secretary of Agrarian, Territorial and Urban Development (SEDATU).

Felipe Ángeles Fire Station in Tultitlán blends into the industrial surroundings of the State of Mexico, using steel beams for its structure, yet its open concept stands out to the closed-off buildings around it. Constructed with steel I-beams and metal mesh frames, the firehouse was designed with the intention of inviting in the community.  The use of metal mesh panels transforms what is set to be an essential public building into a community space that allows passersby to enter the garden inside that contains seating and play equipment for children.

Bird's eye view of fire station, featuring a basketball court and a recreational area inside the building/
Felipe Angeles Fire Station from above (Courtesy Departamento del Distrito)

The construction covered more than 2,0451 square feet of the Real del Bosque neighborhood and hosts administrative offices, leisure zones, dormitories, a small medical center and a double-height garage for the region’s firefighters.

A basketball court, situated on the second floor of the L-shaped structure, is used by firefighters for training purposes and can also be opened to the public. It is accessed via the central training tower

The fire station is faced with metal mesh walls. (Adriana Hamui)

The Felipe Ángeles Fire Station, named after the Mexican revolution military officer, is part of the Tultitlán Cultural Masterplan, one of five design projects in the municipality led by the local architectural firmsIn addition to the fire station, projects in Tultitlán include the refurbishment of the historical center, the municipal market, a sports unit, two cultural centers including The Elena Poniatowska Cultural Center and Library, named after the French-Mexican journalist.

Fire fighter in front of a a truck, with a fire truck behind both.
The Felipe Ángeles Fire Station houses large double-height garages for the storage and maintenance of the vehicles  (Adriana Hamui)

The PMU, which was initially announced in 2019, aims to develop public work in the neighborhoods and municipalities “with the greatest needs in the country,” a project description said. For what the Mexican government calls a “rescue of neighborhoods in marginalized zones.”  The five projects in Tultitlán and the surrounding areas are part of SEDATU’s efforts to develop municipalities “in the vicinity of the recently inaugurated Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA), in order to offer the surrounding communities better public spaces and equipment for their security,” Meyer Falcón said. Earlier this year the SEDATU secretary Román Meyer Falcón highlighted that 135 municipalities in 25 states have urban development projects in the works, among this are infrastructure projects to rebuild roads and basic utility services across the country.

A basketball court hat can be used by the community is a highlight of the building. (Adriana Hamui)

Just 15 miles from the Felipe Ángeles Fire Station is Mexico City’s new airport with the shared name, the Felipe Ángeles International Airport (AIFA). The military-base-turned-international-airport’s construction was imbued with controversy, as the previously published by AN, the Foster + Partners’ Mexico City airport project was scrapped by a public referendum.

The Felipe Ángeles Fire Station was officially inaugurated last July and is an active fire station serving the community of Tultitlán.