2701 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE
Dear Ms. Wright:
In its meeting of 17 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept proposal to amend the master plan for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) consolidation at the St. Elizabeths West Campus, comprising adjustments to the proposed development at the Richardson Quad plateau area along Martin Luther King, Jr. Avenue, SE, and the Sweetgum Lane site to the west of the Center Building. The Commission approved the amendment with the following comments.
The Commission members expressed continued support for the master planning to accommodate the modern needs of DHS within this National Historic Landmark campus. In particular, they commended the innovative proposal for the treatment of the ravine at the northern edge of the plateau, describing the combined use of buildings and slopes as an imaginative and transformative topographic concept and a successful example of collaborative placemaking by the architects and landscape architects. They recommended that this exemplary approach be reflected in the landscape character and details of the ravine area, including the design for retaining walls along its north and south edges. Regarding the two buildings proposed for the plateau area, they expressed support for the presented massing of linked bars of varying heights oriented to each particular site, observing that this will help to reduce the visual impact of each building’s 600,000-square-foot program; they also supported maintaining some flexibility in building size, location, and disposition on the historic campus as the component programs evolve.
The Commission looks forward to review of the final amended master plan, as well as individual projects as they are submitted under the amended plan. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Mina Wright, Director
Office of Planning and Design Quality
U.S. General Services Administration
301 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20407–0001
cc: Otto Condon, ZGF
Hallie Boyce, OLIN