Buildings for emergency services have evolved into an independent and fascinating architectural typology in the past two decades. Since the opening of the spectacular fire station for the Vitra factory by Zaha Hadid, police stations, fire departments and rescue services increasingly consist of architecturally amazing buildings. These are always an attractive challenge - when functional demands and high security measures are brought in sync with stylish modern design, the results reflect the highest levels of architectural skills. All three building types share the fact that they act as starting points for quick motorized dispatches. The featured buildings sometimes combine several institutions that are creatively situated under a single roof. The selected examples present the wonderful diversity of contemporary "emergency architecture". The range extends from the rural two-bay fire station via the metropolitan police headquarters to the helicopter rescue center.