3999 8th Street, SE
Dear Mr. Anderson:
In its public meeting of 21 May conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed and approved two projects for the redevelopment of the Ferebee-Hope Elementary School site: a new high school building at 700 Yuma Street, SE, and a new community center building at 3999 8th Street, SE. Noting the great opportunity provided by the site and the dual program, the Commission approved both projects with the following comments.
The Commission members commended the quality of the architectural design for the new high school building, expressing support for the skillful integration of its design with the landscape. They commented favorably on the vision for the landscape as a series of outdoor rooms with varied pavement colors and other elements that relate to movement through the campus; they noted that the design for the western side of the site appears somewhat less developed, and they suggested adding more shade through the addition of appropriately scaled overhangs and plantings. Observing that light, subtle colors are proposed for the buildings, while bold colors are proposed for play equipment, they recommended instead the consistent use of the softer palette throughout the design. They observed that the proposed plant palette relies on the assumption that historically native plants are the superior choice; however, they suggested using plants that will thrive in conditions of a changing climate.
Regarding the new community recreation center building, the Commission members observed that the program will make a valuable contribution to the larger composition of the public site. They commented that the design of the front facade requires further refinement of the transitions between each of the building’s three volumes, as well as of the intersections of the multiple roof planes. For both buildings, they advised more closely relating their material and color palettes to improve the architectural and visual relationship between them.
The Commission encouraged the project team to work with the staff on the further development of the two buildings and the landscape, requesting a revised materials palette as part of the final design submission. As always, the staff is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Keith A. Anderson, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
cc: John Burke, Studio Twenty-Seven Architecture
Eliel Alfon, Hughes Group Architects
Kennon Williams, Kennon Williams Landscape Studio