Dear Mr. Hanlon:
In its meeting of 21 March, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a new concept submission for an addition to and renovation of Horace Mann Elementary School, located at 4430 Newark Street, NW. The Commission approved the concept presented as Option 2 with the following recommendations for the development of the design.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the refinement of the building design since it was last presented; however, they found that portions of the proposed addition remained overly complex in massing and details, and they recommended further simplification. In particular, they recommended the reduction or elimination of the projecting fin to the west of the new building entrance, and the simplification of the proposed third floor and roof forms along 45th Street which have the effect of increasing the apparent height of the building addition. They also cautioned that the library's projecting bay and doors facing Newark Street may create confusion about where to enter the building, and they suggested that this element be further studied. The Commission members observed that there is a discrepancy in scale between the design of the addition and the landscape; they commented that the diminutive scale and fussiness of the landscape design will have the effect of making the building appear even larger. They noted the impact of the addition's scale on the adjacent residential neighborhood; this could also be mitigated by increasing setbacks and minimizing height.
The Commission looks forward to review of the next submission, which they requested include site drawings that document the location of nearby buildings and indicate clearly which landscape elements are to remain and which are proposed as new. As always, the staff is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Brian Hanlon, Director
D.C. Department of General Services
2000 14th Street, NW, 8th Floor
Washington, DC 20009
cc: Michael Marshall, Marshall Moya Design