Dear Mr. Reed:
In its meeting of 18 October, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a revised concept design for the new athletic training facility at Georgetown University, 3700 O Street, NW (case number OG 12-291). The Commission adopted the recommendation of the Old Georgetown Board to approve the submission, with the following comments.
The Commission members expressed appreciation for the improvement to the plan, particularly the introduction of the courtyard. They supported using the Collegiate Gothic style for the building exterior, but raised concerns about the lack of resolution in the details; they recommended that the designers clarify the stylistic intent, whether historicist or mannerist, to achieve a more coherent design. They recommended further refining the details of the cast stone, strengthening the treatment of the base, and studying the proportions of the windows.
The Commission's comments support and augment those made by the Old Georgetown Board in its meeting of 4 October; the Board's report is enclosed. The Commission and Board look forward to reviewing further development of the design. As always, the staff is available to assist you with the next submission.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
37th and O Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20057
cc: Regina Bleck, Georgetown University
William Gridley, Bowie Gridley Architects
Enclosure: Report of the Old Georgetown Board, 18 October 2012
OG 12-291 (HPA 12-479)
3700 O Street, NW
(Square 1321, Lot 827)
Georgetown University – Athletic Training Facility
Concept – revised design
(Reviewed by OGB: 4 Oct., 5 Jul. 2012. General concept approved 5 Apr. (CFA 19 Apr.), 1 Mar. 2012, 6 Oct. 2011 – OG 11-282; 4 Oct., 5 Jul. 2007 – OG 07-185B)
REPORT: In April 2012, the Commission reviewed the general concept design for the new athletic training facility to be built abutting the southeast corner of McDonough Gymnasium at Georgetown University, near the western edge of the campus. The Commission directed the applicant to pursue expression of the basketball courts as the primary volume and resolution of the relationships to North Road and Library Walk. Since then, the Old Georgetown Board (OGB) has reviewed revised concept designs for a four–story structure (plus one underground level) with a courtyard. In its meeting of 4 October 2012, the OGB recommended concept approval for the design with comments.
The OGB considers the plan and massing to be resolved; however, further development of the detailing is needed. The overall sense of solidity and mass should be emphasized in the articulation of several elements, including: buttresses; cornices at the polygonal bays; the north elevation; the base along the south elevation; and the precast piers of the arcades, particularly in relation to the upper story. The OGB also suggested simpler detailing of the blind panels, thermae window, and corner buttresses, and consideration of alternative treatments for the connection to McDonough Gymnasium.
RECOMMENDATION: No objection to concept design for the Athletic Training Facility as shown in supplemental drawings dated 20 September 2012. Recommend further development of detailing emphasizing solidity and simplification.