Dear Ms. Cooper:
In its meeting of 18 July, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the revised concept design for the proposed replacement building for the Woodridge Neighborhood Library at 1801 Hamlin Street, NE, at the intersection of Rhode Island Avenue and 18th Street. The Commission members present commended the design team for addressing the issues raised during the project's previous review and made several suggestions for its development, recommending that the final approval of the plans be delegated to the staff.
In their discussion of the building's exterior elevations, the Commission members recommended several refinements to the design. They suggested that using a different material, such as frosted or spandrel glass, to accent the vertical recessed slots in the precast wall panels would help to highlight these decorative reveals in a manner similar to the vertical slit windows. They also suggested that the main entry should be more easily identifiable and legible from the side street. For the site design, they recommended that the terraced bio–retention element located along the west side of the building be carefully configured to ensure its viability and success on the site's sloping topography. They expressed appreciation that the entrance to the library's community room has been relocated from the east to the north facade in order to reduce the library's impact on the adjacent residence; they also requested that the nearby mechanical equipment be moved as far as possible to the south to help minimize the effect of noise and vibration on the residents.
As there was not a quorum during the review of the project, this recommendation will be placed on the agenda for confirmation at the Commission's meeting of 19 September. Please coordinate the submission of complete permit documents incorporating the design modifications as delegated to the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Ginnie Cooper, Chief Librarian
District of Columbia Public Library
901 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
cc: Bing Thom, Bing Thom Architects