Dear Mr. Cinkala:
In its meeting of 19 January, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the final design for a new extended-stay hotel at 850 D Street, SW (case number SL 12-029), an addition to the L'Enfant Plaza building complex. The Commission approved the final design subject to the creation of an upper-level setback at the rear of the building where it is adjacent to the projecting upper floors of the existing East Building of L'Enfant Plaza.
The Commission members commented that the materials and details have been generally resolved, including the articulation of the base and its panelized masonry cladding system; they requested also that the size of the mechanical penthouse be reduced as much as possible. Citing the discussion in the previous review on 21 July 2011 and the summary letter of 29 July 2011, they reiterated their strongly held concern with the uncomfortably close adjacency of seventeen feet between the proposed building and the existing East Building. Concluding that the proposed design is not supportable due to its architectural and urbanistic impact on the overall composition of L'Enfant Plaza, they recommended approval for the project conditional on the creation of a setback—at a distance aligning with the southern extent of the glass curtain wall system as presented—on the upper three occupiable stories of the new building.
The Commission looks forward to the resolution of the final design for this new development within the Southwest area of Washington's monumental core. Please coordinate with the Commission staff for documentation of the modifications in accordance with the Commission's action for final approval.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
The JBG Companies
4445 Willard Avenue, Suite 400
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
cc: Andrew Rollman, SmithGroup
Jennifer Steingasser, DC Office of Planning