Strategic Teaming


MW Studios is a nationally recognized leader in the planning and designing of public safety facilities such as fire stations, police stations, firing ranges, public safety training centers, 911/Emergency Management Facilities, and Courtrooms. The work performed by our Civic & Public Safety Studio has received many public safety design awards. The key personnel leading the public safety design studio have worked together for over a decade. Their work and industry-leading research have been published by reputable journals such as Officer Magazine, FireHouse Magazine, and NFPA. Further, our team has demonstrated a long-standing commitment to researching and developing best practices for Public Safety & Judicial Facility Design. We regularly attend and speak at national conferences where such information is shared with chiefs, government officials, and fellow design professionals.

MW Studios has worked across the country, spanning from California to Maine

We have specialized in the planning and design of Public Safety & Judicial Facilities since our inception. This concentration has resulted in more than 200 distinct projects and unmatched familiarity with the nuances of these highly technical facilities. As experts in the design of Public Safety Facilities, we have become adept at partnering with government agencies and their local design professionals to deliver successful projects on a national scale.

As professionals with distinctive public safety experience, we welcome the opportunity to team with local architects and municipalities to ensure project success. We regularly partner with fellow architects and design-build contractors to complete feasibility studies and space needs assessments, master planning, site studies, programming, and comprehensive design services for essential facilities. We look forward to working with partners and agencies who share similar philosophies and aim to achieve value and give their community the best facility possible.

Our expertise
  • Fire Stations
  • EMS Stations
  • Police Stations
  • 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAP)
  • Emergency Operations Centers (EOC’s)
  • Indoor & Outdoor Live-Firing ranges
  • Live Fire Shoothouses & Use of Force Simulators
  • Public Safety Training Centers
  • Emergency Vehicle Operations Courses
  • Class “A” Burn Buildings
  • Technical Rescue Props
  • Courthouses & Secure Judicial Facilities
  • Mission-Critical Infrastructure & Operational Facilities
how can we help
  • Needs Assessment
  • Existing Condition & Risk Assessment
  • Station Location & NFPA Response Time Analysis
  • Site Planning & Site Selection
  • Programming
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Full-Service Architecture & Interior Design
  • Design/Build Bridging Documents & Specifications
  • Owner’s Technical Advisor / Program Management
  • Construction Administration
  • Strategic Facilities Master Planning
  • Owner’s Representative
  • Peer Review & Quality Control
  • Active Shooter Training & Threat Mitigation Analysis
  • Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED)
  • Alerting System Design


Recent Award-Winning Public Safety Projects

Recent Publications

The Impact of Electric Apparatus on Station Design; The Anatomy of the Apparatus Bay..Not Just a Garage


Q: I’m an architect. Why should we partner with your firm?

The leadership of the Civic and Public Safety Studio team has dedicated nearly their entire career to designing these specialized facilities. Our seasoned team will bring years of experience and lessons learned to the table, giving you and your client the confidence to know you are making all the right decisions. Our background and experience have allowed partner firms to accelerate through the schematic phase and obtain stakeholder consensus early in the process – eliminating timely and potentially costly re-work later in the design process. During the later stages of design and construction administration, we continue to support the project by assisting with developing technical details and selecting and specifying equipment. Don’t just take our word for it. Check out what other firms have had to say.

Q: My local architect hasn’t done a public safety building before. Why should I pay for two architects?

When MW Studios partners with another firm, rest assured that you are not paying for two architects. Instead, we work with the local partner firm to distribute the work and associated costs according to the experience and capabilities of each team member. In this arrangement, MW Studios typically leads the entire team through the needs assessment, programming, and space planning phase, working alongside the local team to ensure the project complies with local jurisdictional regulations. Later in the process, we support the local architect in reviewing submissions and perform peer review quality control to ensure the critical design parameters associated with a public safety facility are correctly incorporated. This strategic approach ensures that our clients have the best of both worlds at an affordable rate – A team of national experts with deep experience designing public safety facilities. And a local presence that is intimately familiar with your regulatory agencies and understands the nuances of your region’s climate and associated construction requirements.

Q: We’re a department considering a new building. Where should we begin?

No two projects have identical requirements or parameters. As such, no two projects should have the same prescribed starting point. Understanding the conditions and challenges of your particular project is essential to formulating a project work plan. We offer a 2-hour complimentary consultation to all agencies, whether you’re in the infancy stages or seek the peace of mind in knowing that you’re headed in the right direction. Typically this no-fee service requires a preliminary intake call where we will learn more about your agency. We may ask that you send plans, photos, staffing and equipment information, and other relevant data to help us prepare for a meaningful two-hour session. Contact us to learn more!

Q: You don’t have an office in our region. Isn’t that going to be a problem?

Not at all! Having worked from the Southern Coast of California to the Northeastern regions of Maine, our team has become accustomed to traveling the country for these specialized projects. We have streamlined the preliminary design process to achieve meaningful results quickly and cost-effectively. Our approach utilizes a balance of in-person meetings and design charrettes paired with regular virtual check-ins. Our expertise and ability to swiftly navigate the design processes save our clients considerable time and mitigate the risk of costly project mistakes – considerably more significant savings than travel expenses.

Further, the firm has a unique advantage when it comes to travel. Principal Architect Rob Manns has his private pilot license and the capability to deliver MW Studios’ services at project sites anywhere east of the Mississippi River quickly and efficiently. With the ability to control our arrival and departure schedules and connect via small regional airports, we can eliminate the drive to international airports, parking fees, rental cars, and often, lodging. We are capable of servicing most projects along the East Coast in a fraction of the time it would take traveling by car or via commercial airline, with no cost impact to the project.

Q: Why do I need an Expert on my design team?

The saying goes, “you don’t know what you don’t know.” Public Safety and Judicial facilities are often projects that will last generations and are essential to a communities safety and security. Thus, there is little room for error. The team at MW Studios has demonstrated mastery in the design of Public Safety & Judicial Facilities for years. We are fluent in the language spoken by firefighters, police officers, emergency managers, and courthouse officials.

If you are about to design a fire station, your team should understand organizational strategies to optimize response times and mitigate exposure to carcinogens. For Police Stations, your team should demonstrate a profound understanding of CPTED and how the chain of custody can be maintained. Firing range designers should deeply understand ballistics, ventilation, and acoustic requirements. Training center designers should understand the skills first responders need to learn and how to create safe yet realistic environments. Courthouse planners should understand how to create safe spaces that provide appropriate separation from the public, defendants, jury, and judge.

Without these skills, your project may be at risk. Investing in a qualified design team will pay dividends throughout the project’s life by mitigating the risk of costly mistakes that will affect the quality and functionality of your facility.

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The design, their professionalism and dedication to our community has far exceeded our expectation. Their services have been instrumental in providing our members with an attractive, safe and well equipped facility. It’s a building that will truly serve our community for the next 50 years.

Kevin Shiloh, President, Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department