Denver, CO Architects

Dallas Police Department South Central Substation

  • Dallas, TX

The initial planning effort for this 38,000 SF Dallas Police Department South Central Substation included an operational analysis and evaluation of existing and future operational strategies employed by the Dallas Police Department.  Department wide interview sessions were arranged, identifying and developing key adjacencies to facilitate communication through out the department as well as making the facility open and inviting to the public.

Concepts were then developed including alternative site and building concepts addressing adjacencies, as well as scaled building program and building concepts.  The final programming stage resulted in efficient and valuable evaluations for the department and the city. 

The resulting 38,000 SF police facility is located on a 10-acre greenfield site serving a rapidly growing working class suburban area 15 miles south of downtown Dallas. Though served with a new downtown headquarters, this will be the first police substation since a generation of “bunker” type structures built 20 years ago, and is envisioned as a prototype for a new public image signifying the structure as a  “beacon of safety” and community center. Consistent with City of Dallas goals, the project has earned a Silver LEED rating for sustainable design.

The program includes a police station with community meeting areas, a vehicle maintenance/washing/refueling facility, and discrete parking and garden areas for the public, staff, and departmental vehicles. Key design goals included creating a warm, open and inviting relationship to the community who will visit while dealing sensitively and invisibly with the security needs of officers and staff who will use the building; maximizing efficiency of day to day operations so officers have more time to spend out in the community; the encouraged integration of patrol officers and investigations officers (two very different cultures) into a shared work environment; and the creation of a new, appropriately civic “beacon of safety” image for the city facility.

Design features include a soaring, curvilinear glazed public concourse, connecting visually the community with the front service desk, neighborhood policing and use facilities, administrative offices and investigations; a “jewel-box” community meeting room at the front entry; the “grand hall” where patrol and investigations officers will work side-by-side in a maximum-flexibility, bright soaring environment; and a spatially dynamic “main street” through the center of the structure.

Sustainable design features include: shifted site placement of the building to the ideal, computer data indicated orientation for thermal performance; a geo-thermal mechanical system, capitalizing on the adjacency of a nearby creek; high levels of wall and roof insulation; use of a “cool” roof throughout; high-performance, low-e coated insulating glazing; maximum natural daylighting through the entire station; native, low irrigation plant materials; on-site rainwater retention systems; operable windows for nighttime ventilation; extensive use of local, renewable and recycled-content materials; and a maximum-flexibility work area served with raised floor air and data distribution.

Perkins Will, Roth Sheppard Architects, associated architects