Legacy Ridge Maintenance Depot - Lethbridge
Coaldale Fire Hall - Coaldale
What is Municipal Architecture?
Municipalites are subdivisions/jurisdictions of a region with a governing body often referred to as governments or councils.
Municipal architecture refers to architectural work done for municipalites. These are often termed Civic architecture projects. These are usually projects with the ultimate purpose to serve the public interest of the municipality. Examples include waste management facilities, political processes, public administration, public libraries etc.
How does Municipal Architecture differ from other types of architecture?
Work for municipalites can be very unique since projects can vary significantly by purpose. Architectural projects from firehalls to hospitals, waste management to public transport facilities all pose their own unique challenges. Functional buildings with specific purposes require a lot of research to ensure they are design to fulfil their purpose. Whether that requires large storage spaces, parking, heavy vehicle storage, police stations, sports facilities and many others.
What design aspects are common in Municipal Architecture?
Municipalities tend to have very common needs i.e. they usually need a fire station, schools, public transport etc. What can be different is how those common projects are designed. In some cases, the location of a building or the municipality itself can impose creative restrictions to align with local themes. Aside from creative restrictions, the primary changes in municipal architecture tend to be more related to time than location.
Modernization is one of the primary factors driving designs in municipal architecture. Since modern designs incorporate improved function, they are a favourable choice by governing bodies as efficiency and cost effectiveness are an indication of government/council performance in the public eye.
Art & Culture
Its not always about functionality. In many cases, the building is a contribution in representing the municipality and can act a symbol of prosperity, art, culture or more. Some municipalities try to maintain their history and heritage whereas others are about being a modern advanced society. Together, this simply means the municipal architect needs to do a lot of research based around the wishes of the client.
Spaces designed for public use are commonly multipurpose units so flexibility is incorporated in the design. This has significant implications for electrical and environmental factors. A well designed multi functional space maximises its use and can reduce the construction budget by not requiring multiple spaces with single purposes.
Technology is important in modern designs for efficiency and security. Wired and wireless networks, door access security systems, security cameras, interactive navigation of the building, audio-visual systems among others, are all important design aspects in municipal buildings.
As populations grow, so too does their demand on municipal infrastructure. Designs for city buildings and facilities ideally, should have plans for future expansion to accommodate increased demand. This will facilitate expansion by making it more cost effective and simpler to incorporate when the time comes.
Governments and municipalities try to lead by examples when it comes to enviromentally friendly operation of buildings and facilities. From simple changes such as the use of LED light bulbs, to the larger changes such as the use of solar panels, electric powered public transport and efficient heating/cooling systems, these changes in municipal design continue in preservation of our environment. These changes of course are at extra expense but usually the financial investments is returned in time and the affect on the environment cannot be valued.
Municipal Architect Ian Moxon
Ian Moxon has worked with city and various nearby municipalities on a variety of projects. With decades of experience and a dedicated team, Ian Moxon Architect Inc. is the ideal choice for any municipal architecture project. Learn more about Ian and his team or contact Ian Moxon Architect Inc. today!