Architecture West Magazine – Modern Masonry: Two State-of-the-Art Fire Stations in Paradise Valley, Arizona

In Arizona, a unique arrangement between the Town of Paradise Valley and the City of Phoenix brought state-of-the-art emergency response services to residents of Paradise Valley. The centerpiece of the agreement was the construction of two new emergency service buildings, Paradise Valley Fire Station No. 1 and Fire Station No. 2, which were constructed simultaneously. Per the agreement, Paradise Valley owns and maintains both buildings while the Phoenix Fire Department provides the necessary personnel and equipment.

Both firehouses were designed by Larry and Lance Enyart, the father-and-son partners and principals of LEA Architects, Phoenix. Among the firm’s core values is designing for sustainability, having designed more than 100 fire stations with numerous LEED®-certified projects in their portfolio, including the first LEED Platinum Level Certified Fire Station in the United States.

Prior to striking the new arrangement with the city, Paradise Valley had a longstanding contract with Rural Metro Fire in Phoenix. The private, subscription-based fire protection service operated locally from within two converted single-family homes that no longer met current mission requirements for a modern fire station.

“The town’s goal was to build a 50 year-plus sustainable facility that would integrate with the surrounding natural environment as well as the residential and civic context specific to each of the two unique sites,” said Lance Enyart, AIA, LEED AP, who has extensive experience in designing civic and public safety projects. “Both projects also were designed to meet the unique mission requirements of the Phoenix Fire Department.”

To keep time and budget in check when building two specialty structures in two very different neighborhoods, designers chose to utilize a trusted provider and product with Echelon Masonry’s Trenwyth Trendstone® ground face CMU. Echelon is the masonry brand of Oldcastle APG, a CRH company.

The design strategy for both emergency response buildings employed the use of Trendstone’s Berkeley, which features rich earth tones and terra-cotta exposed aggregates, as well as smooth face integral color concrete masonry, hollow clay tile units, and weathering structural steel and standing seam metal roof and wall panels.

Paradise Valley Fire Station No. 1 is on a natural desert hillside where the architects had to take grade issues into consideration. It is also located in a high-end, single-family residential neighborhood, so the aesthetics were very important to residents. “The use of natural materials such as the ground face masonry and weathering steel combined with architectural strategies such as earth berming, taking advantage of a sloped site to allow for a split-level plan, and strategic orientation of shed roof forms were implemented to minimize the scale of the building and be sympathetic of the surrounding neighbors,” noted Enyart.

Paradise Valley Station No. 2, on the other hand, was in a municipal complex adjacent to the existing town hall and new court facility. While this building sought to complement the neighboring complex, it also was designed to integrate with the natural environment. “In this case, the colors and textures of the Trendstone helped visually connect Paradise Valley Station No. 2 to the natural backdrop of Camelback Mountain,” Enyart said.

Echelon’s Trendstone units also were chosen as the best material for the interior of the buildings. “It is an interior material that is highly durable and will not scratch or snag the clothing of the emergency response personnel,” explained Larry Enyart, president of LEA Architects. “It also works in harmony with the ground concrete floors to provide considerable thermal mass for temperature stability and energy conservation.”

In addition to its contributions to energy conservation, Trendstone CMUs will help keep the interiors of the buildings clean, as masonry doesn’t show dirt easily and cleans up well with little effort. It also won’t show signs of wear and tear. The fire resistance of the material was also an important consideration as the buildings serve both as residences and storage for large, diesel-filled vehicles. The use of concrete masonry units to separate living spaces from the equipment bay helps protect first responders while also limiting the transmission of noise from one space to the other.

Enyart noted the Trendstone conveys an image of timelessness and solidity in these buildings. “The mason skillfully worked with the block in achieving the quality results we desired,” he said. “The architectural design, quality of the product, and construction execution represents a culmination of effective teamwork. From the outset of the project, we and the Town of Paradise Valley viewed this project as an opportunity to enhance and support the neighboring community and provide an emergency response facility that would instill a sense of permanence and pride in the public and users.”

In addition, partnering with a single masonry manufacturer proved invaluable from a costeffectiveness standpoint. “The construction costs realized for both projects were on budget and very competitive when compared to construction costs of other fire stations of similar scope and complexity built around the same time, but not designed by LEA Architects,” said Lance Enyart. “Using similar materials for both projects undoubtedly offered value and economy of scale and contributed to the competitive construction costs achieved.”

LEA Architects were recognized for their design work on these buildings. Both Paradise Valley Fire Stations received top design awards from Fire Industry Education Research Organization and Design Excellence Awards from the Arizona Masonry Guild. Paradise Valley Fire Station No. 1 also received an environmental excellence award from Arizona Forward.

“We continue to be huge fans of masonry for its sustainability, sound dampening qualities, and ability to blend in with the natural landscape,” said Enyart. “We will specify these materials going forward to create modern, unique public buildings.”

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LEA proud sponsor of EXPOSED: Carcinogenic Exposures on the Fireground

LEA Architects is proud to be a sponsor of the newly published book by Dawn Bolstad-Johnson called “EXPOSED Carcinogenic Exposures on the Fireground and 11 work practices to minimize the risk”.

LEA Architects has pioneered many safe building practices in over 4 decades of designing Fire Stations and are strong advocates for healthy safe buildings for Fire fighters.  LEA has featured several Fire Stations in urban, rural and aviation environments in the new book sponsor ad.

Purchase your copy here!

LEED Gold Tolleson Fire Station wins Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Award

LEED Gold Tolleson Fire Station wins Arizona Forward Environmental Excellence Award 2018.  The ceremony was held at the Westin Kierland Resort.  At the Environmental Awards Gala in Scottsdale, LEA Architects Principal Larry Enyart, FAIA, LEED Fellow receives AZ Forward Award of Distinction for 2018 for Tolleson Admin + FS LEED Gold

Somerton City Hall wins Top Honor Award for Design Excellence from the Arizona Masonry Guild

LEA Project Team for Somerton City Hall

The Arizona Masonry Guild awarded the Somerton City Hall designed by LEA Architects a Top Architectural Honor Award for Excellence in Masonry.   We are honored to be recognized for this award and want to thank @Somertonaz for allowing us the opportunity to serve as the Architect for this important project!

#leaarchitects #somertonaz #arizonaarchitecture #arizonawesterncollege

3 LEA Fire Stations featured in Fire Apparatus Magazine

Phoenix (AZ) Station 59 Design by LEA Architects Gets LEED Platinum Award

Sedona Fire Station Combines Innovation and Functionality

San Luis Obispo (CA) County Regional Airport Fire Station Houses Municipal, ARFF Firefighting Functions

Employment Opportunity – LEA is HIRING!


We are looking for an experienced Job Captain with skills in AutoCAD, Revit, Adobe INDesign, Photoshop, MSOffice, and Sketch Up. Degree in Architecture + 5 years of experience is preferred. Applicants must have experience with the creation/coordination of the full spectrum of architectural & construction documents with skills managing the integration of supporting engineering documents. Please send detailed Resume to LEA Design Principal Lance Enyart, AIA, LEED AP ( Please include examples of your design work for a possible follow up scheduled interview.

LEA is located at located at 1730 E. Northern Ave, Phoenix, AZ and the LEA website is:

Somerton City Hall Dedication Ceremony

On June 1st, 2017, the Somerton City Hall Dedication Ceremony occurred. LEA Architects, LLC has incorporated the Somerton community’s cultural values and aspects into their modernistic design. This 14,600 sq ft building will provide a great facility for the community, as well as provide a wonderful large classroom space for students attending Arizona Western College.

LEA Architects, LLC (LEA) designed the New Somerton City Hall to accommodate the day-to-day administration of the City’s services and programs, and reflect the current and future aspirations of the City. The Architecture of the New Somerton City Hall along with two other major City Buildings (Somerton Public Library and the Somerton Public Safety Building) designed by the same Architect drew inspiration from the agricultural context and culture of this surrounding community using exposed regional masonry as a critical component of the design. Natural building materials, including extensive use of ground-face concrete masonry for exterior and interior walls in combination with exposed structural steel, concrete, glass, and standing seam metal wall panels, define the building surface and exude a sense of sustainability and presence.

Wolff Residence featured in Atomic Ranch

LEA Architect’s Wolff Residence has been featured on the front cover of Atomic Ranch Summer 2017 magazine edition! Find Wolff Residence on pages 66-67.

AIA Western Mountain Region Awards

Lance Enyart, AIA, LEED AP was honored at the AIA Western Mountain Region (AZ, CO, NM, NV, UT WY) Design Awards Gala in Salt Lake City with the prestigious AIA WMR Young Architect of the Year Award; Lance transcended all boundaries with his leadership in design, education, and service to the profession.

Larry Enyart, FAIA, LEED Fellow was honored in Salt Lake City for his Exceptional and Extended Service as the College of Fellows Senior Representative to the AIA WMR and the AIA National College of Fellows

Sedona 9/11 Memorial Dedication

Larry Enyart, FAIA, LEED Fellow & Lance Enyart, AIA, LEED AP, were the father – son Architects for the New 911 Memorial at their AZ Governor’s Award sustainable Sedona Station 6. The Sedona 911 Memorial Dedication Ceremony on Sunday 11 Sep 16 was attended by over 500 people. Larry Enyart (BG USAF Ret) was a featured speaker talking about the new memorial design philosophy / symbolism, first responders, and appreciation of our military operations for the Global War on Terror……We Will Never Forget!

Randy Jones, Sean Cole, Tim Berry, Lance Enyart, and Larry Enyart were presented 911 Memorial Commemorative Challenge Coins for all their professional efforts in the design and construction of this fast pace project.