CFA 18/MAR/21-1


Parcel H, bounded by First, N, and 1 1/2 Streets, and N Place, SE
Washington, DC
United States

U.S. General Services Administration
Southeast Federal Center (The Yards)
New twelve-story residential building with street-level retail space
Review Type


Dear Ms. Wright:

In its public meeting of 18 March conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for a twelve-story residential building at The Yards, to be located on development Parcel H, bounded by First, N, and 1-1/2 Streets and N Place, SE. In accordance with the review process established in the Memorandum of Agreement between the General Services Administration and the Commission of Fine Arts regarding the redevelopment of the former Southeast Federal Center, the Commission approved the submission with the following recommendations for the development of the design.

The Commission members commended the proposed massing and window pattern, which they said would give residential scale and a sense of playfulness to the building. They also expressed support for using a textured, variegated brick with cool gray and champagne- colored metal accents for the facades; however, they concluded that the proposed dark-gray brick would soon look dated, and they strongly recommended lightening the brick color to achieve a timeless appearance more aligned with the city’s established character. While expressing support for the landscape concept proposed for the roofs and courtyard, they commented that the design appears fragmented in some areas, and they advised developing a more cohesive and expressive composition of planted features to enhance these outdoor spaces. Observing that the sun and shade conditions within the courtyard were not accurately documented in the presentation, they recommended careful consideration of these conditions to confirm the most suitable locations for plantings, water features, and public amenities.

The Commission looks forward to the review of future projects for the continued development of The Yards. As always, the staff is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Mina Wright, Director
Office of Planning & Design Quality
General Services Administration, National Capital Region
1800 F Street, NW, Suite 4400
Washington, DC 20405

cc: Erikjan Vermeulen, Concrete
Toby Millman, Brookfield Properties