SL 20-133


4652-4656 Broad Branch Road, NW
United States

D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs
Undeveloped lots
Three new houses
Review Type
Submitted Documents


Dear Mr. Wilner:

In its public meeting of 21 May conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept submission for three new single-family houses on three adjacent unimproved lots at 4652–4656 Broad Branch Road, NW (case number SL 20-133). The Commission approved the concept and requested the opportunity to review a submission at the design development phase.

The Commission members commended the sensitive design of the houses and
site within the steeply sloped and heavily wooded valley of the Broad Branch tributary along Rock Creek Park; they characterized the design approach as reflecting and reinterpreting the landscape context in the materials, massing, and setting of the three houses. They emphasized the consistency of the valley’s woodland character from the public park across the street to the privately owned properties along Broad Branch Road, and they expressed appreciation that the subtle design establishes a strong identity for the houses without imposing heavily upon the setting of the national park. They observed that the houses, which are proposed to be set into the steep hill, are being used to contribute to a continuous landscape of site walls and woodland plantings, and they commented that the proposed plant palette would be appropriate for this area of concentrated deer population. They recommended further study of the exterior materials and details, particularly for the ground floors and retaining walls, in order to refine the relationship of the houses to each other and to the landscape; they also recommended planting bare-root trees on the steep slopes during construction to aid in preventing erosion.

The Commission looks forward to review of more developed designs for these houses. Please consult with the staff, which is available to assist you.


/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Thomas B. Wilner, Trustee
Shearman & Sterling LLP
401 9th Street, NW, Suite 800
Washington, DC 20004

cc: Richard Williams, Richard Williams Architects
Jonathan Fitch, Landscape Architecture Bureau