Dear Mr. Hanlon:
In its meeting of 19 January, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the revised concept design for the rehabilitation of and addition to the Reno School located at 4820 Howard Street, NW, to incorporate the building into the adjacent Alice Deal Middle School complex. The Commission approved the revised concept design with recommendations for further development and delegated review of the final design submission to the staff.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the careful response to their comments from the previous review and found the new scheme to be greatly improved. However, they suggested further study of the scale, massing, and roofline of the northern portion of the addition to unify its fragmented appearance and improve its relationship to the overall Alice Deal complex. They also recommended careful study of the proportion, subdivision, and detailing of the windows in the new construction, suggesting a consistent and deliberate treatment of the dark brick base around the building. In their support of creating transparency through the building, they also suggested a more open double-height space within the building and, possibly, refinement of the entrance portico to better frame the view.
The Commission members noted that the proposed site and landscape design requires additional development. They encouraged the creation of clear accessible pedestrian approaches to the building entrances and playing fields; they also suggested the possible extension of the rain garden landscape treatment already proposed for the atrium garden to other areas of the site.
As delegated, the staff is available to assist you in the development, review, and approval of the final design.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Brian Hanlon, Interim Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2400 East Capitol Street
Washington, DC 20003
cc: Ronnie McGhee, R. McGhee & Associates