CFA 21/JUL/16-5


Parcel L-2, bounded by Tingey, 2th, and 3th Streets, SE
Washington, DC
United States

U.S. General Services Administration
Southeast Federal Center--The Yards
New eleven-story mixed use building (residential-retail)
Review Type


Dear Ms. Wright:

In its meeting of 21 July, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for a new eleven-story mixed-use building at The Yards, to be located on Parcel L-2 at Tingey and 2nd Streets, SE. The Commission expressed general support for the design of the building and provided comments for its refinement, requesting the opportunity to review a revised concept submission.

The Commission members commented favorably on the idea of combining taller block-like volumes facing the city with lower terraced volumes stepping toward the waterfront park, as well as the conceptual extension of the park’s landscape up onto the courtyard, terraces, and roof of the building. However, they questioned the resulting imbalance in the building’s massing, particularly as seen from the riverfront, where the large commercial-looking block on the west and north appears to loom over the more residentially scaled, cascading form of the southeastern wing. They expressed concern about the excessive variety of curves, terraces, and other setbacks used to erode the building’s massing, and they recommended a simpler and more consistent treatment of this volumetric articulation. They suggested that the design of the facades better express the predominant residential use, including more terraces and balconies on the larger volumes of the building. They also questioned the rigid pairing of trees up the ascending terraces, commenting that this formal landscape configuration is uncharacteristic of the adjacent waterfront park, and they suggested a more varied treatment.

The Commission looks forward to further review of a concept submission that responds to these concerns. 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
301 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC  20407-0001

cc: Jason Bonnet, Forest City Washington
Brian Pilot, Studios Architecture