CFA 15/FEB/24-5


2701 Martin Luther King, Jr Avenue, SE
Washington, DC
United States

U.S. General Services Administration
St. Elizabeths West Campus, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Construction of a new 6-story building and associated landscape for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE)
Review Type
Submitted Documents


Dear Ms. Williams:

In its public meeting of 15 February conducted by videoconference, the Commission of Fine Arts reviewed a concept design proposal for a new 550,000-s.f. building complex for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on the St. Elizabeths West Campus. Expressing appreciation for the presentation, the Commission members present recommended approval of the concept design with the following comments.

Recognizing that the general size, location, and form of the proposed ICE building was previously approved as part of the 2020 Master Plan Amendment for the St. Elizabeths West Campus, the Commission members expressed appreciation for the relationships of the proposed complex to the other buildings, both old and new, on the historic campus. They cited in particular the subtle shift in the color of the terracotta cladding as it relates to the planned Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency building and the historic Administration Row buildings, and they suggested further study of the light-colored precast at the lower levels of the project to balance its tonal contrast with the existing architectural context. Noting the length of the ICE building’s south wing, they requested more information about the relationship of the proposed massing to the adjacent neighborhood of residential and institutional buildings to the south. In general, they endorsed the strategy of carefully controlling the appearance and visual impact of rooftop appurtenances and occupiable terraces within the sensitive historic context. Regarding the design of the landscape, they expressed support for what they found to be a thoughtful treatment for the historic setting.

The Commission looks forward to further review of this important project at the St. Elizabeths National Historic Landmark campus. As a quorum was not present for the review, these comments and recommendations will be placed on the administrative agenda for confirmation at the Commission’s next meeting. Please continue consulting on the development of this important project with the staff which, as always, is available to assist you.

/s/Thomas E. Luebke, FAIA

Kristi Tunstall Williams, Deputy Director
Office of Planning & Design Quality
General Services Administration, National Capital Region
1800 F Street, NW, Suite 4400
Washington, DC 20405

cc: Toby Hasselgren, ZGF
Hallie Boyce, OLIN
Tom Chaleki, Department of Homeland Security