Dear Ms. Pamula:
In its meeting of 19 September, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed the concept for modifications to an outdoor seating area for Ancora Restaurant in the Watergate Office Building at 600 New Hampshire Avenue, NW (case number SL 13-126). While supporting the proposal to renovate and activate the outdoor terrace, the Commission expressed dissatisfaction with the proposed design and did not approve the concept.
In their discussion, the members of the Commission emphasized the sophisticated and monumental architectural context for this terrace, situated between the Watergate complex and the Kennedy Center along the Potomac riverfront. They found the proposed design inappropriate for this context and aesthetically incoherent, with the various program elements unrelated to each other in character and structural logic. Instead, they recommended a more subtle, elegant, and integrated composition of elements, perhaps using a simpler vocabulary of trabeated forms and a controlled palette of materials and colors, to complement and respect the architectural context.
The Commission looks forward to review of a revised design. Please coordinate the submission of the next presentation with the staff, which is available to assist you.
/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA
Watergate Holdings, LLC, c/o Akridge
600 New Hampshire Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20037
cc: Francisco Beltran, Design Republica
Robert Kinkead, Ancora Restaurant