Cetronia Ambulance Corps.

Project Description

Cetronia is a Joint Administrative and Operations Facility that houses the operational and administrative staff, vehicles and equipment for Cetronia, the Lehigh County Medico-Legal and Forensics Center, and various County services. In addition, the project includes a fueling station and wash area for a fleet of both gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles along with a paratransit fleet apparatus storage depot.

Project Details

  • Client Cetronia Ambulance Corps.
  • Location Allentown, PA View map
  • Use Municipal
  • Sq. ft. 88,000
  • Completed 2014

Cetronia is a Joint Administrative and Operations Facility on land owned by the County of Lehigh in South Whitehall Township. The facility houses the operational and administrative staff, vehicles and equipment for Cetronia, the Lehigh County Medico-Legal and Forensics Center, and various specialized County services units including the Technical Rescue Team and the Hazardous Materials Team. In addition, the project includes a fueling station and wash area for a fleet of both gasoline- and diesel-powered…

Cetronia is a Joint Administrative and Operations Facility on land owned by the County of Lehigh in South Whitehall Township. The facility houses the operational and administrative staff, vehicles and equipment for Cetronia, the Lehigh County Medico-Legal and Forensics Center, and various specialized County services units including the Technical Rescue Team and the Hazardous Materials Team. In addition, the project includes a fueling station and wash area for a fleet of both gasoline- and diesel-powered vehicles along with a paratransit fleet apparatus storage depot.

Viewed from Route 309, the Operation Facility’s form blends with the other warehouses of light industry and agriculture that dot the region, yet it does not suggest motifs of any particular decade. Upon closer inspection one, finds rhythm in the façade openings, subtle raking details in the CMU, circular vents that project and subdivide the building’s length, and occasional panels of red glazing that brand the medical facility. The design is purposeful in its use of ordinary and visually de-saturated materials.

While the building does not stand out as an individual piece of art, its asymmetrical arrangement of windows next to classrooms and open office space, its material detailing, and its red glazing create a composition that suggests an aesthetic particularity beyond the utility of the anonymous shed.

In addition to the design of the building, the team worked with Cetronia to design and build a custom donor wall to honor the generosity of all who contributed to making the project a reality and support Cetronia’s operations. The donor wall was inspired by the overall approach to the building design, and was intended to complement its surroundings.
The Operations Facility exemplifies a modest approach to building. Through a vernacular mindset, the building is acknowledged as a simple resource within a larger built environment, rather than an exaggerated and inflexible response to programming. This approach emphasizes restraint over flash or individuality to advocate for buildings that hold value over long periods of time.

Award Award of Excellence – AIA Eastern PA Chapter, 2015

Project Cetronia Ambulance Corps: Joint Operations Building

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Testimonial

Name Larry Wiersch

Title Chief Executive Officer, Cetronia Ambulance Corps.

Working with our friends at Spillman Farmer, we were able to achieve our objectives of functionality as well as appearance. From the very beginning, we recognized the need to create a facility that exemplifies our partnership in the community while continuing to refine our budget so the project would be functional, efficient, and esthetically pleasing but not ’over the top.’ …The project will be a testament to what we can do when we work together. We appreciate all that the team at Spillman Farmer has done to help us bring this project to a very successful conclusion.

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