Dear Mr. Hanlon:
In its meeting of 20 March, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design for a new building for the DC KIPP College Prep High School, to replace the existing Hamilton Special Education School located at 1401 Brentwood Parkway, NE. The Commission members present recommended approval of the concept submission and delegation of further review to the staff, providing several recommendations for development of the final design.
The Commission members commended the design team for a well−conceived project that demonstrates good planning, intentional simplicity, and responsiveness to the topography of the site. However, they commented that the facade of the west entrance at the track level appears unresolved, creating an awkward connection between the separate blocks of the auditorium and gymnasium; this facade should be designed to create a more deliberate gap at the entrance, or to compose the elements as a unified base for the building. They questioned the use and location of the wood accent planes, particularly on the east facade, and suggested clarifying the logic of where these surfaces are designed as infill areas within the masonry skin of the building. They also suggested that the staff entrance from the parking lot could be more gracious and include some means for weather protection.
As there was not a quorum during the review of the project, this recommendation will be placed on the administrative agenda for confirmation at the Commission's meeting of 17 April. 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, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Brian Pilot, Studios Architecture
David Rubin, Land Collective