Dear Mr. Hanlon:
In its meeting of 21 February, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed and approved a new concept for a gateway pavilion at the St. Elizabeths East Campus along Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE. The Commission expressed strong support for the concept and noted that the pavilion would provide a welcome opportunity for fostering community engagement on this historic campus.
The Commission members noted the improvement in the design since the previous presentation, expressing appreciation for the pavilion's imaginative character and its dramatic rising form. However, they raised concerns about the relationship of the pavilion to the Redwood Drive axis of the historic Maple Quadrangle, and they suggested that the sharpness and severity of the prow–like termination at the pavilion's north end be softened; they observed that it appeared to slice rather than frame the view to the quadrangle, an excessive gesture that was difficult to reconcile with the context.
For the development of the concept, the Commission members suggested closer study of the capacity, configuration, and technical support of the stage and seating areas proposed for the roof of the pavilion. Finally, they recommended careful consideration of the public space surrounding the pavilion as an important amenity for the community, beyond the commercial opportunities afforded by the market.
The Commission looks forward to review of the final design for this project. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Brian Hanlon, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Peter Cook, Davis Brody Bond
Catherine Buell, D.C Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning & Economic Development