BBAx Architects

Silsby Steam Engine Display

1998 AIA Brazos Merit Design Award

Programmatic Requirements

The local fire department donated a 1879 Silsby steam fire engine to the Heritage Museum for preservation and public viewing. A display building to showcase historic fire-fighting equipment was needed.

Design Solutions

Set in a structural steel frame, the 775 square feet of ¼” tempered glass was installed with a low-emissivity coating to reduce heat gain. Neutral color tone of the concrete block wall was chosen to provide a background which would highlight the features of the steam engine itself. A decorative cupola topped by an 8” round brass sphere alludes to the original firehouse that had been demolished. An exterior speaker stand provides narrative of role Silsby steamer played in combating and controlling fires in Brenham set by Union Troops during post-Civil War years.