CFA 15/MAR/18-6


900 Wesley Place, SW
Washington, DC
United States

D.C. Public Library
Southwest Neighborhood Library
Replacement library building
Review Type


Dear Mr. Reyes-Gavilan:

In its meeting of 15 March, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept design for a replacement building for the Southwest Neighborhood Library, located at 900 Wesley Place, SW. The Commission approved the concept proposal and provided the following comments for the development of the design.

The Commission members expressed support for the proposal, which they said would be a handsome addition to the Southwest neighborhood. For the refinement of the final design, they requested documentation of the construction details, particularly how the building walls engage the folded-plate roof, as the detailing will be critical to the success of the building’s overall design; they also recommended careful study of solar exposure in relation to the depth of the roof overhang on each elevation. For the design of the site, they suggested that the configuration of the ramp at the main entry be revised to provide a larger flat area at the doorway, and to reinforce the prominence of the landscaped walkway leading to the duck pond park to the west. They also recommended refining the design of the rain gardens to contribute better to the public space surrounding the library, possibly eliminating the potentially unsightly areas under the access ramps to the service entrances on the south side of the building.

For the next submission, the Commission members requested that the site plans be expanded to include the existing landscape of the adjacent park to better illustrate the context of the new building. The Commission looks forward to further review of this project and encourages continued coordination with the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation to improve not only the design of the new library but also that of the adjacent park. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Director
D.C. Public Library Administration
1990 K Street, NW, Fifth Floor
Washington, DC 20006

cc: Carl Knutson, Perkins + Will