2626 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Dear Mr. Kang:
In its public meeting of 15 October conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for alterations and additions to an existing office building at 2626 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, proposed to be converted to residential use (case number SL 21-008). Expressing strong support for the project, the Commission approved the concept with the following recommendations for the development of the design.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the comprehensive presentation, particularly the inclusion of views showing the impact of the project on Rock Creek and Potomac Parkway, and they commented that this project has the potential to become one of the many remarkable buildings overlooking federal parkland in the Rock Creek valley. They recommended further exploration of the pattern and texture of the proposed glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) cladding panels, suggesting the imaginative use of more than two panel types—varying the frequency and the directional emphasis of the striations, with attention to different light and shade conditions on the different facades. They recommended selecting and working with the highest quality panel manufacturer to develop the details; such details should include L-shaped corner pieces to improve durability and to reduce the visible thinness of the material. They also recommended study of the night lighting conditions, particularly immediately adjacent to the parkland, to understand the relative lighting for the balconies and indoor rooms.
For the design of the main entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue, the Commission members commented that the canopy appears unrelated; they recommended instead that its design derive from the architecture of the rest of the building, which uses recessed balconies and terraces to produce a continuity of indoor and outdoor rooms. They also recommended modifications to the planters and ground plane at the entrance to create a more continuous condition—taut and crisp like the architectural design—suggesting that all the planters be the same height, that the stair and ramp be placed adjacent to each other without the proposed intervening planter, and that the planters make a clear transition to the park edge at the west. For the design of the landscape on the adjacent National Park Service property, they suggested that the proposed path be located at the western edge, away from the building, and that open drifts of plantings be used to increase privacy for the ground-floor units.
The Commission looks forward to further review of the project, including material samples. As always, the staff is available to assist you in the development of the design and the preparation of the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Velocity Property Management
7315 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 400W
Bethesda, MD 20814
cc: Kevin Sperry, Kevin + Asako Sperry Architecture