Client, Year

FDNY Foundation, 2020

Services

Exhibition
Architectural Signage
Interpretive Graphics
Donor Recognition

Awards / Press

Photography

FDNY Fire Zone

Hands-on fire safety with New York’s bravest

Located in Rockefeller Center, the FDNY Fire Zone is a fire-safety learning center hosted by the world’s second-largest municipal fire department. Ashton collaborated with the FDNY Foundation and multimedia production company batwin + robin to program and design the visitor experience. Now, visitors can experience hands-on exhibits, dynamic presentations, and life-saving lessons courtesy of the city’s hometown heroes.

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Custom graphics and wall-washes in the FDNY’s signature red are all that’s needed to complement those elements of most visual interest—the firefighters’ iconic gear, uniforms, and trucks.

Even smaller items, like more than 2,500 fire department patches from around the world, create a jaw-dropping moment when featured en masse.

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An 18-foot-tall map conveys the immense geographic reach of the FDNY, which is also universally recognized as the world’s busiest fire department. We plotted each engine and ladder company’s unique patch on its corresponding locale for every firehouse in New York City.

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At the heart of the Fire Zone, an immersive theater experience employs special effects to simulate eight real-life fire emergencies. Visual projections, light, and sound all work together to create tightly choreographed events that are effective and accessible for groups of all ages.

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Guests exit the theater through a dark, smoke-filled corridor. Photoluminescent floor lettering reminds them to “Stay low and go!” They then are free to explore a variety of hands-on and multimedia exhibits at their own pace.

Before heading home, visitors are equipped with materials to help them eliminate fire hazards in their own homes and create escape plans for their families.

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