goose creek (stp) maintenance garage

west goshen township, chester county, pennsylvania

industrial commercial, special purpose


One of the smallest, yet most satisfying projects undertaken by the firm, the site and architectural design and construction administration of the Maintenance Garage at the Goose Creek Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) was performed long after the plant had been in operation and functional.  However, the maintenance crew had no work facility and often performed required maintenance in the field (i.e. on the loading bed of a pick-up truck), using inadequate tools and technology and brute force to perform the needed repairs and replacements.  Thus, the Maintenance Garage was to be both a vehicle storage facility and workshop.  The aesthetic of the Maintenance Garage owed a significant degree of homage to the preceding building group, but due to value engineering and its role in sheltering working personnel, as well as vehicles, the material palette changed (brick and concrete gave way to articulated/colored and standard/gray masonry block) and its form and architectural expression was much more responsive to the environmental conditions affecting the usage of the structure.  Consequently, a heavy emphasis on passive solar considerations was only natural.  An extensive use of glass at even the overhead vehicle doors, themselves, and high on the west-facing wall allowed for maximum amounts of natural light in the work area and heat gain and storage on the concrete floor during the winter months.  On the other hand, the work and habitable spaces were positioned at the northern extents of the building to use the building, itself, as a source of shade during the summer, and glazing was limited along the principle south/southeast facing wall to limit heat gain in the early part of the summer days when the crew was most likely hard at work on repairs. These lighting, heating, and shading conditions were augmented by the articulation of a brise soleil and clerestory at the upper level of the western half of the building.