1 Pecan Street, SE
Dear Mr. Falcicchio:
In its public meeting of 15 September conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a revised concept submission for a new hospital building and parking garage to be located on Parcel 2 along Pecan Street on the St. Elizabeths East Campus. The Commission approved the proposal and provided the following comments for development of the final design.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the responsiveness to their previous recommendations for the architectural and site design. They commented that the revised exterior color for the building’s base has resulted in an improved sense of grounding and unity for the large building complex. They recommended using a planted treatment for the flat roof areas that would be visible from patient rooms and other occupied spaces, with particular attention to the roof between the bed tower and the ambulatory care center.
For the design of the site, the Commission members acknowledged the development of a more detailed landscape proposal that includes an emphasis on public open spaces. They urged further development of the large, prominently visible open space to the west along Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, encouraging a more engaging character of the landscape across the site using elements such as plantings, tables, benches, and walks. They observed that this landscape should be an inviting amenity for visitors, patients, and staff—designed to provide respite and a welcoming place to eat outdoors, with minimal visual or physical barriers. They suggested enlarging upon the strong concept for creating mounds and swales to add interest to the open space, while supporting the consideration of maintenance requirements and adequate sightlines for safety; for example, plantings could be selected to attract birds and butterflies in order to strengthen the landscape’s healing character.
More generally, the Commission members commended the improvement of the landscape design at the north edge of the hospital building and around the adjacent parking garage, endorsing the project’s relationship with the men’s shelter to the north and the wooded ravine to the east. They encouraged further consideration of how the site design could strengthen the relationship between the hospital and the extensive redevelopment that is planned to the south, particularly the continuity of pedestrian circulation patterns, in order to contribute to the long-term goal of developing a cohesive mixed-use neighborhood for the St. Elizabeths East Campus.
The Commission looks forward to further review of this important community facility; please coordinate the final design submission with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 317
Washington, DC 20004
cc: William Hellmuth, HOK
Don Hoover, Oculus