CFA 17/SEP/15-8


M Street between 1st Street and Delaware Avenue, NE
Washington, DC
United States

D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
Vehicular and pedestrian underpass below railroad tracks
Public art installation, "Rain" by Thurlow Small Architecture and NIO architecten
Review Type


Dear Ms. Toney:

In its meeting of 17 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed concept designs for two public art installations to be located in underpasses below the railroad tracks north of Union Station at L and M Streets, NE. The Commission approved the designs, expressing appreciation for the coordinated effort of the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the NoMa business improvement district, and the NoMa Parks Foundation to enliven these gloomy and uninviting spaces.

The Commission members made several comments and suggestions for both installations as the projects are further developed. For the installation in the L Street underpass, titled "Lightweave," in which six illuminated curvilinear elements would be constructed above the walkways, the Commission recommended that light be carefully controlled to avoid illuminating the structural elements and to give the illusion that the sculptural elements appear to float overhead. For the installation in the M Street underpass, titled "Rain," in which LED-illuminated acrylic rods would hang in vault-like configurations, the Commission recommended that the programmable lighting level changes should be gentle and avoid flickering. For both projects, the Commission also recommended careful study of the installation details to ensure that they are durable and resistant to vandalism.

The Commission anticipates the successful completion of these projects. Please continue to consult with the staff in preparation of the submission of the final designs for delegated review.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Lisa Richards Toney, Interim Executive Director
D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities
200 I Street, SE
Washington, DC 20003

cc: Robin-Eve Jasper, NoMa Connected
Stacie West, NoMa Parks Foundation
Andrew Thurlow, Thurlow Small Architecture
Jason Kelly Johnson, Future Cities Lab